This album is every 60's fanatic's strawberry alarm clock dream, a loving parody of Sgt. Pepper
era mod psychedelia that amazingly pulls it off, not merely as a picture-perfect tribute, but also the finest collection of tunes that Partridge & Moulding ever penned.
I know, I know, you hate those smarmy ain't we clever bastards with hiccupy vocals in XTC, but seriously - even if you hate that band, you need to check this album out. I wouldn't go so far as to say NEED need, but any fan of 60's British Invasion and psychedelia has a hole in his collection that isn't complete until he's heard this compilation (1985's 6-track 25 O'Clock
EP and 1987's full-length, 10-track LP Psionic Sunspot
Actually, it's better than any psychedelic album released during the flower/pot era, excepting The Move and The Beatles themselves, but not excepting the lightweight and inconsistent Piper at the Gates of Dawn
, and certainly not the psychedelic efforts of B-listers The Hollies, the Small Faces, The Pretty Things, or The Rolling Stones' great folly (oops, forgot about a certain LP by The Zombies that I recently rated highly).
There again, there is Love's magnum opus, which rivals this platter, but let's forget about that, as the Dukes are content to more-or-less completely bypass West Coast psychedelia and concentrate exclusively upon the UK variant. I said 'almost', as the closing track on the CD, "Pale and Precious", is a loving Beach Boys tribute - and not the surf-era BB's, but the post-Pet Sounds
That's an anomalous track anyway, being a direct tribute to a specific band's sound. Most of the rest swipe specific elements of specific songs from The Beatles, Kinks, Move, Stones, etc., as well as one-hit Nuggets
blunders - "Bicycle to the Moon" clearly derives lyrical inspiration from Tomorrow's "My White Bicycle", and there's at least a couple of "She's a Rainbow" piano lines. Plus the clock chiming intro to the CD was obviously swiped from the Floyd.
by Reviewer: Creative Noise
(blogging at Creative Noise