Wednesday, July 20, 2011

John's Children-BLACK AND WHITE CD (Acid-Jazz Records, UK...probably available for download somewhere out there)

Hmmmm...gotta package from Bill Shute today which was filled with a number of burnt DVD offerings that'll probably have to wait until I can get enough free time in front of the machine as well as this particular release.  I'm talking the "new" (actually recorded in 2003) John's Children album which has been making a few waves in the same circles that you'd expect such an album to make a few waves in. I will admit that I did harbor a little bit of curiosity regarding this album, especially after reading some particularly powerful remarks from some of Bill's real-life friends who made their opinions known via Facebook. But it wasn't like I was going to rush out and buy a copy for myself. Too cheap y'know. And besides, that's what we have Bill Shute for!

Well, let's just say that this is one album that will prove to at least myself that 2011 wasn't exactly a totally dog year with regards to rock 'n roll releases, even if this alb's technically eight years old. It's a pretty fantastic release if I do say so myself, with not only original Children Andy Ellison and Chris Townson on voice box and drums respectively in tow, but Sparks/Jet guy Martin Gordon shows up on bass while some relative newie goin' by the name of Boz Boorer plays some convincing enough guitar here to make you think that maybe Marc Bolan didn't die that fateful day! This Boorer guy is a relative mystery, though I discovered that he had played in some aggregation called the Polecats as well as backed up a certain fellow called Morrissey, who if I'm not mistaken is that guy who used to direct Andy Warhol movies. Whatever, he's a pretty good substitute, though once you get down to the bare nitty gritty could anybody really replace Bolan???

But like, who cares because this one sounds like the Great Lost John's Children Album which is convincing enough to make you think it actually was recorded in 1966 even if the sound quality and instrumental gear is definitely STEREO REVIEW fresh stock. Really, Ellison's voice sounds just as teenage as it did back in the sixties, and whether he's driving his way through a fresh composition or even hotcha John's Children re-recording your mind just doesn't conjure up shriveled like it does with many a sixties comeback custom made for the wheel chair ramp.

Total excitement here not only with the familiar re-dos (besides "Sara", "It's Been a Long Time" and "The Perfumed Garden of Gulliver Smith" which are obviously good choices if I do say so myself) but the new 'uns which do have a good 14 Hour Tech. Dream lilt to 'em. Amongst 'em are "I Got The Buzz" and "This is Your Wife" which are hot enough to make me think they were leftover tracks from the old days despite their structural freshness which at least updates 'em to the late-seventies power-pop upheaval. The xerox sleeve I have gives no credit but if in fact these are recent compositions, but I gotta give credit to the group for capturing the decadent appeal of late-sixties England and presenting it during a time which makes those days seem totally Victorian in comparison.

Boss choice of covers too. Now, "Love is All Around" at first glance might not seem like the perfect number for the group but if Talking Heads couldn't ruin in could John's Children have? The idea of covering the Small Faces' "Lazy Sunday Afternoon" was a brilliant one which the group pulls off spiffingly, but what's even more surprising is the Cee-Dee closer "Eleanor Rigby", especially since for the life of me I thought I'd never want to hear another Beatles cover ever again (the Pink Fairies' "Tomorrow Never Knows" excepted)! But if you thought Ellison's rendition of "Help" oh so long ago was a real winner you're sure to like this punky take which is raw enough to make you forget just how much the Beatle brand had become synonymous with peace and love sterility for forty years counting!

Great 'un here, 'specially for a buncha oldsters who should be checking their post boxes for their mail order Depends. But hey, considering that nobody but these old timers are cooking up the high energy froth 'n that the "younger generation"'s muses like Lady Caga are nothing but Barbara Streisand with designer tattoos why should that bother anyone? John's Children may have an average age that points towards mandatory retirement but that don't mean they're about to be put out to pasture, which is where all of those musical asses we've been putting up with as of late should be herded into after a quick and hopefully painful neutering!

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