Cinema 1967 / Out-Sider 2016
Monkee-favored, mostly mellow-flavored psych from the Lone Star state: period piece with peculiar appeal.
One glance at the titles like “Military School” and “Sitting On A Flower” – and you easily pinpoint the year of this LP’s release: 1967. What’s impossible to guess, though, is the band’s geographical position, because nothing in their music smells of Texas, except, perhaps, for the cinematic vista of opener “Daybreak” and other well-orchestrated tracks. No wonder Davy Jones christened the group and was eager to produce them until his manager spent all the money, which didn’t deter THE CHILDREN from richly texturing the ten cuts on offer.
Giving their songs character by passing vocals between two singers, Stephen Perron and Cassell Webb, and piercing lush strings with William Ash’s wah-wah, the ensemble conjure pastoral pictures on folk-based ballads such as “Maypole” yet the piano-propelled anxiousness of “Don’t Ever Lose It” has a distinct psychedelic undercurrent to it. Still, while the epic “Pictorial” is set to a fuzz-heavy riff to paint a gloomy vision of the future, interspersed with soft passages, full of hope, and while the joke of “I Got Involved” or gentle “I’ll Be Your Sunshine” may have come from a vaudeville, there’s a unifying mood to the various pieces. That’s what removes an era shackles from “Rebirth” and makes its interesting today; had the vibes-adorned promise of “Dreaming Slave” been taken to prog days, THE CHILDREN could have grown to be a force.