Fleshtones – Brooklyn Sound Solution

January 01, 1970

(Yep Roc)




There are several perennial stages
of fandom music buyers go through, familiar to most serious music lovers; 1.
You discover a cool band and can’t wait to acquire their next releases. 2. The
band gets better over the years and it’s a longtime love affair, OR, 3. The
band released two or three great albums and then, either run out of juice or
get very successful and mainstream and you lose interest in them, and only play
their older stuff.


 If a band or artist has survived for several
decades, the odds are good they’re surviving on past cred and are just going
through the motions for die-hard fans, hello Stones, Dylan, etc. The Fleshtones
are entering their 32nd year as a rock phenomenon, one of the best
and hardest working bands going, that can certainly teach a thing or three
about kick-ass rock & roll to most of the rest. In Brooklyn Sound Solution, they’re back to their old tricks and
well-honed licks, but still fresh and original. Reports drifted out of Austin
about some awesome shows at SXSW, playing an engaging and blazing mix of songs
from BSS, as well as many from a bag
of favorites. The album liner notes calls it “one with a fresh heart and a
whole lot of soul.” Some of this new-found freshness comes from the inclusion
of Lenny Kaye, the granddaddy curator of the Nuggets collection, jumpstarting
the rebirth of garage/’60s punk back in 1972. 
Kaye adds his guitar to the mix as well as a song. The producer, Phast
Phreddie Patterson, played a major role in making the magic happen, by uniting
Kaye with the band and suggesting several of the covers and song styling to
shoot for. The end product turns out to be in my humble opinion, probably one
The Fleshtones’ finest, shining hours in the studio. The energy explodes from
the speakers and could make the dead rise up and ‘get down’. There’s more
bounce per ounce than an inflatable bounce house full of hyperactive 6 year
olds buzzed on sugar.


They aggressively tackle “Daytripper”
as an instrumental, bending chords and resuscitating the Moptop classic in a
fashion that’s sure to bring a smile to most faces. Producer Patterson urged
them to cover R & B singer’s Ted Taylor’s stomping “You Give Me Nothing To
Go On’ with the lyrics and then a slight return as an instrumental. Another
cool instrumental kicks off the album, a wild surfed-out version of the
oft-covered “Comin’ Home Baby.” 
“Solution #3” visits Booker T & the MG’s Land, in this Keith
Streng-penned tune.  “Lost On Xandu,”
written by Kaye ends the album with what sounds like an escapee from The
Ventures in Space album. BSS is
replete with all the garage rockin’ & rollin’, reelin’ & strollin’,
blue-eyed soul, fans expect from a Fleshtones album. All killer and no filler.
While 7 of the 12 tunes are covers, you get bonus downloads of 3 more tracks,
plus, you can ‘try before you buy’ and stream the whole album first on the Yep
Roc site. As Patterson’s liner notes also assert, “Brooklyn Sound Solution for
a problem that we hope will never exist.” ‘Nuf said!


        DOWNLOAD: “Rats In My
Kitchen,” “Comin’ Home Baby.” BARRY ST. VITUS


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