Dig it! (Bad Afro)
by Craig Regala
Totally sunny/steamy proof of the power of roots rock ‘n’ roll. Unlike tedious bar shuffle, these guys leap off from bands like The Fleshtones and Raunch Hands, boring toward the stuff the garage guys dug besides the British Invasion’s snotty side: Stones, Them, Pretty Things, The Kinks, good stuff right? Yeah, but not everything. The Royal Beat Conspiracy take the hard hip swivel of beach music, and the danceable side of ’60s garage rock as it was writ in Chicano Los Angeles: Soul-inflected, R&B conscious made for Locomotion. These guys have as much turntable time for Stax Soul as Trashman stomp when they frug the night away, and it shows.
It’d all be academic if it wasn’t for the tunes, and they got a double handful. The singer has a modestly friendly voice, never tries to over emote, and phrases perfectly. The swelling ‘n’ pumping organ stays on this side of roller rink cheese without sacrificing some deliciously moronic note rolls. Face it, one-chord vamping and drifting copped from early psychedelia as via ’60s/’90s AM radio works great. What do you all think that “you should be walking on the sun” song was? And don’t fucking LIE, you liked it, I liked it, your dad’s third wife dug it, as most of the Western world did for a summer back there a bit. Perfect recording and mix, too. Like The Doors without Bach, Willie Dixon, and Oedipus, as the “big three” ya know? They’d do fine opening for The Soundtrack Of Our Lives or Rocket From The Crypt.
(Poste Restante, Frederiksberg Alle 6, 1820 Frederiksberg C, Denmark)