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The Members

Version

Review by Gary Hill

The Members are a punk band dating back to the original days of the 1970s. This new album includes their covers of a lot of great music. Personally, I prefer the tunes where they either electrify it more or lean it further toward the ska end of the spectrum. That said, everything here is interesting in its own way. This is a cool set.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
When You Were Mine
This arrangement is rather stripped down. It's a bit odd, but also has a cool old school, barebones rock and roll vibe to it.
Does Your Mother Know

With this garage band kind of arrangement, this ABBA song is changed into an almost psychedelic rock kind of thing. There are even some hints of the Beatles on the tune at times.

Boys Keep Swinging

In an interesting nod to the originator of this tune, they throw a bit of "Under Pressure" in at the start of this cut. The tune works out into a hard rocker that really feels a lot like David Bowie.

What Do I Get?
There is a bit of a dreamy, trippy kind of punk rock edge to this thing. It has some cool psychedelic edges to it.
Sheena Is a Punk Rocker
Here we get a cover of The Ramones. The drums lead this off, but they do this thing as an acoustic version. They lose none of the energy or tempo, but bring a completely different flavor. They electrify it for the chorus, though.
Shadow

There is a cool acoustic rocking vibe built into this thing. It has a great rhythmic vibe and some cool vocal hooks.

On Broadway
The liner notes say that they did this song in the style of The Kinks, and you can certainly hear that. The keyboards are an interesting touch, and the noisy guitar soloing is all class, too. This is a powerhouse number, particularly as the arrangement fills out later.
Chinese Rocks
Here they turn their attention to Johnny Thunders. I know it better as a Ramones song. This is a smoking hot punk rocker that works so well.
Police in Helicopter
Reggae is the order of business here. Well, I suppose it is probably more ska. It's a classy tune that is one of my favorites of the set. I really dig the guitar solo on this thing.
Soul Rebel
Psychedelia seems to merge with reggae on this echoey, trippy kind of piece. It's rather slow moving, but has a cool driving bass-line at the back of it.
Night Nurse
Another reggae number, this is really more pure reggae and less ska. It has a cool horn solo that brings something special to it. The whole tune is magical, though. In fact, this might be my favorite cut on the disc.
Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've?) / Under Mi Sleng Teng
There is a bouncy kind of electro-pop vibe to this number. It has some reggae in the mix, too.
Cokane in My Brain / White Lines
Funk and jazz grooves are all over this two-fer. It's another classy tune.
Waiting for My Man
This rock and roller is classy. It's a Lou Reed penned tune, and has his trademarks all over it. I really love the cool guitar soloing on the last portion of the piece. It makes for a great closing section of the album.
 
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