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Non-Prog CD Reviews

The Chocolate Watchband

I’m Not Like Everybody Else

Review by Gary Hill

This outfit was one of the original garage bands of the 1960s. Although they broke up and were gone for a long time, in more recent years they reunited. Led by two long time members Tim Abbott and David Aguilar, they play festivals all over the place. This is their new collection of music. It’s what you’d expect from these guys and more.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Expo 2000

This is just so cool. It’s an instrumental that combines surf music, space rock and more. I swear I hear theremin on this, but no one is credited with it on the album.

Gone and Passes By
Sitar brings some real psychedelia to the table. The harmonica is a nice touch, too. The vocals are rather dreamy in a way.
Are You Gonna Be There (At the Love-In)
I love this song. It reminds me a bit of The Animals. The guitar solo, though, is so meaty and almost Gothic in nature.
It's All over Now Baby
This is a nice change. It’s a lot more lighthearted in sound. It feels a bit like some of the psychedelic side of the Rolling Stones to me. It’s another great slab of psychedelia and some variety, too.
No Way Out
This song reminds me of things ranging from The Byrds to the Zombies and the Stones. The clean guitar soloing that wanders all over the track is great. There is some backwards tracked stuff later, too.
Misty Lane

I like the sound of this melodic psychedelic rocker. It’s catchy and classy.

I Ain't No Miracle Worker
Somehow this makes me think of Camper Van Beethoven in terms of the world music elements here. I like the variety this brings, but it feels a little awkward.
Sitting There Standing
More of an old time rock and roller, this is a bit rawer than some of the rest. There is almost a punk edge here. It’s another nice change of pace. The guitar soloing makes me think of Chuck Berry.
Sweet Young Thing
This reminds me a lot of The Standells. It’s another cool rocker.
Don't Need Your Loving
This hard rocker is great. I love the guitars soloing around one another later. The whole piece is very much garage style 1960s rock. It feels almost punky in some ways, but that sound influenced the punks, really.
I'm Not Like Everybody Else
The title track is a jangly bit of psychedelic rock. It’s effective, but not really one of my favorites. The chorus at the end really seems to go on too long for me.
Let's Talk About Girls
This is kind of generic, 1960s hard rock. There’s nothing all that special until the little psychedelic freakout at the end.
The Inner Mystique

Now, this is more like it. It comes in with shakers and percussion and weirdness, reminding me of Hawkwind. As the picked guitar joins, it takes on an almost progressive rock angle. As flute solos over the top, it really has a prog rock kind of vibe. Yet, I’m also reminded a little of the mellow side of early Black Sabbath somehow. This is a meandering instrumental that drops to just bass at the end. It’s also my favorite cut on the album.

 
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