May 1, 2009

Mod-A-Day: Crawling Walls

Just as the first wave garage rock revival was winding down along came one of the best garage rock albums ever. The Crawling Walls released "Inner Limits" in 1985 off the Voxx label and then promptly disappeared forever more. It's unclear if the band lasted more than the time required to record one terrific album. No matter, they did record it and I've loved it ever since I happened across it in Rhino Records and just could sense that it would be something special.

I wasn't wrong. Bob Fountain speaks eloquently with two voices, his and his Farfisa's. His voice fits perfectly here, and has a unique twang that makes it it instantly identifiable. His Farfisa does the same, lending pacing and direction. The tracks are all garage rock pure and simple, but the swirling organ gives it both an exotic psychadelic sound, and a very authentic sixties feel. This is combined with fuzzed out guitar in several surprisingly long songs, with speeds ebbing and flowing as the focus switches back and forth between the musicians. Then there are a number of three minute power pop songs, still combining organ and guitar, but with driving drums that keep them moving at a breakneck pace. The comparisons to Thee Fourgiven, The Fuzztones and The Unclaimed are warrented, but Crawling Walls also added their own unique stamp to the songs, few as they were. It was hard to pick a song to feature since they are all so great but I finally chose "Tell Me Why", and you'll understand why as soon as you hear it.

Crawling Walls -- Tell Me Why