GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT WE WANT: THE MUSIC OF THE KINKS
The Kinks led the second string of the British Invasion, on the heels of the Stones, the Beatles, and the Who. But bandleader Ray Davies remains one of the first rock era’s finest songwriters. Even scuffed under the Tom Waits–like treatment of Baby Gramps or trimmed to a thundering instrumental overture by C Average, his "Sunny Afternoon" and "Revenge" are unforgettable. To say nothing of the unabashedly romantic "Come Dancing," here respectfully rocked by the Briefs, or "Who Will Be the Next in Line," which gets amped up by Mudhoney.
The point is that whether a notable like Mark Lanegan is offering a reverential treatment of "Nothin’ in the World Can Stop Me from Worryin’ ’bout That Girl" or an obscure band like Love Is Laughter are plying "Tin Soldier Man," the spine of Davies’s sterling chord progressions, melodies, and smart lyrics remains straight and strong. Other highs on this homage from Pacific Northwest bands are the Fastbacks’ lovely girl-group interpretation of "Waterloo Sunset," the Murder City Devils’ "Alcohol" (which sounds as if it might have been recorded with a good drunk on), and the Young Fresh Fellows’ aptly urgent "Gotta Get the First Plane Home." There are 19 of Davies’s gems, and each band supplies its own distinctive punk-pop polish.
Issue Date: December 6 - 13, 2001
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