BY TIM HINELY
Ok, I’ve got to be honest here, I hadn’t even heard of the The Sloths before a few days ago, but checking in with some of my music-loving pals they hadn’t either so yeah, they were very obscure. The story goes that in the mid 60’s some 15-17 year old high school students in the L.A. area formed a band and began playing most of the dives in LA at the time: The Whiskey, Bito Lidos, The Galaxy, Pandora’s Box and many others and opened for many bigger names like Love, The Doors, The Seeds and plenty of others. They released one 7”, “Makin’ Love” b/w “You Mean Everything to Me” (Impression Records) and then vanished (they were done by 1966)………………until now (in 1984 Crypt Records Tim Warren included “Makin’ Love” on one of his Back from the Grave comps).
The Sloths circa 2015 include original bassist Michael Rummans (original guitarist Jeff Riskin who got the band back together a few years ago, played some shows but went back to his law practice), as well as Tommy McLaughlin on vocals, Ray Herron on drums and Mr. Patrick “Pooch” Dipuccio (from Flipside magazine fame) on guitar and let me tell you, they put on one hell of a show (McLouglin and Ray Herron had originally been part of a Sloths offshoot called The May Whines…but that’s another story). What did they have to draw on aside from that single? Well, they have a record coming out any day now as a co-released between Burger and Lolipop Records and cranked up some oldies, too.
During the set, while the band nailed down the tunes, McLouglin was a master of entertaining the crowd (hey, he’s directed some Hollywood movies) using props, changing into different costumes and the like. They played a Jerry McCain cover called “A Cutie Named Judy” as well as a Holly Beth Vincent song called “Never Enough Girls” (apparently written for Joey Ramone). They also blasted out other cuts like “Fired,” “Haunted” “Everybody’s Trying to Be Somebody” and the smokin’ “One Way Out.” They ended the set with “Makin’ Love” and the crowd did not let them leave without an encore which, of course, was Love’s “7 & & Is” (which they nailed!). As I mentioned in my Facebook post about these guys, this isn’t some old-fart, rockin’ chair crap this is the real deal, howling, raw and fun. Go see them.