Local Wire

Flamin' Groovies

Half the fun of being a power-pop fan is digging up bits of manna that five other people have ever heard and grousing that they should've been hits. And while there's no shortage of lilters with one great tune -- ever hear of Suzy Saxon or the band Candy? -- the Flamin' Groovies' Shake Some Action spills over with 14 ragged, wistful tunes, now available for unlimited consumption. The most striking gems on the San Francisco band's 1976 masterwork seem to mourn the early Beatles as passionately as some literal love lost. But there's also the spiky title track, subsequently covered by every pop-leaning punk band under the sun, not to mention a pair of inky ditto-copies of later Chuck Berry tunes and a trove of other morsels with varying ratios of toughness to sweetness. The sharp, silvery production is intact on the remaster, maintaining the brittle wall of wistful harmonies and guttural guitars that marked the LP's unique sound. With this reissue, DBK has single-handedly spoiled hard-earned caches of geekdom belonging to pop freaks everywhere.
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Andrew Marcus