June 24, 2010

The Above are ... well ... da bomb

From the very first chords of "What She Said" by Brooklynn's The Above you know you're in for some blistering sixties styled R&B power pop. The Above would fit right in at any 1967 freakbeat show, or at any of the legendary Sounds of the Sixties festivals during the 80s, or pretty much anywhere cool music is appreciated these days.

They have all the charm and sweetness that you could want from a band that is recreating classic sixties sound, but don't let that fool you. There's nothing nice nor easy about The Above's new self-titled album, which runs from spiky edged Standells-like sixties punk to mod atmospheric power pop ala The Creation. The band switches gears between rough-edged R&B and a more radio-friendly pop sound with ease. There are crunchy guitars galore, swirling psychadelic organ sounds, and even ocassional Beach Boysesque vocal harmonizing.

For me a couple of the standout tracks pop up early on the disk, "Bollywood Woman" and the very cool, fuzzed out and bluesy "Walked Out On Me". And then later you get "Act Your Age", a great mod track that could have come right off a Small Faces album complete with harmonica and some driving organ the kind Ian Mclagan used to whip up.

The Above -- Bollywood Woman(2010)

The Above -- Act Your Age(2010)

The Above - "Don't Believe in the Light"