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The Remains
MOVINí ON
(ROCK-A-LOT)

Stars graphics

By general consensus, the Remains were the best garage punk band Boston produced in the mid í60s. They opened for the Beatles a few times and made two killer singles, " Donít Look Back " and " Why Do I Cry. " Leader Barry Tashian then did a major about-face and moved to Nashville, where he played with Emmylou Harris in the í70s; heís since cut a string of acoustic albums with his wife, Holly. The original band quietly got back together in the early í90s and played the Paradise twice. Now theyíve cut their first album in 35 years ó not counting reissues and compilations, itís only their second overall.

The good news is, it sounds exactly like a Remains album, maybe a bit slower and less manic for the years, but still rock solid. Even in their day, the Remains were more polished and melodic than most of their garage-band peers ó it was no coincidence that that they opened for the Beatles rather than the Stones. The years in Nashville have left their mark on Tashian, whose songs all have a country edge: theyíre the sort of tunes that Hank Jr. or Travis Tritt could cover with different production. But the Remainsí old energy kicks in more than once, and producer Angelo Petraglia (former Bostonian and Face to Face member) keeps it live and í60s-sounding. " Big Olí Dynaflow " and " A Manís Best Friend Is His Automobile " pay obvious homage to Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley, a reminder that garage rock had its rootsy influences. But the discís real standout is the opening " Donít Tell Me the Truth, " a í60s nugget in the style of the bandís two original hits, with tambourines ringing and Farfisas wailing. Perhaps itís no coincidence that the song is co-credited to Daniel Tashian, Barryís son. You take your youthful energy where you can get it.

BY BRETT MILANO

Issue Date: March 20 - 27, 2003
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