on 30 April 2010
The Standells can hardly be called one of the great rock bands; nonetheless the group has positioned itself firmly in the American garage rock history.
Through a dozen really solid rock-recordings spread over four albums and some singles, the group stands as an exponent of the best of the raw but simultaneously melodic garage rock of the middle sixties. The group achieved a major hit in 1966 with the title number from the album "Dirty Water". The sound of the group is characterized by tight playing and production, dominated by fat organ-sound and distorted guitar.
On this album, which like the other three is somewhat uneven, you'll find a handful of the group's best recordings, not least the opening track "Medication" which can be reminiscent of contemporary groups like Pink Floyd and the Easybeats. The nice bass riff that reminds you a lot of Los Bravos' "'Black is Black" is the lynchpin of a solid vocals spiced with guitar and organ.
The group did not write much their music themselves, but has contributed with the robust and relatively sophisticated "Why Did You Hurt Me", written by drummer Dick Dodd, and guitarist Tony Valentino and the delicate ballad "Pride and Devotion" written by organist Larry Tamblyn. On the other hand producer / manager Ed Cobb was an important contributor to the group repertoire, not least through the "Dirty Water" and on this album also "There's a Storm Coming", "Rari" and the bonus track "Take a Ride" .
The original album play for just about a half hour, so it is positive that this version is expanded with six bonus tracks, of which especially "Poor Man's Prison" stands out positively.
The group often supplemented their repertoire of cover versions of contemporary rock hits, in this case the Stones' "19th Nervous Breakdown", which actually has a really good drive, but of course not the strenghts of Jagger's vocals.
Other contemporary trotters are "Hey Joe" and "Batman" which have not been given anything interesting or not added anything new, and probably only serve to fill out the album.
All in all, not a real great album, but one with highlights such as "Medication", "Dirty Water" and "Why Did You Hurt Me"