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coverpic flag US - Texas - Full Moon 54 - 03/09/01

Those Peabodys
Those Peabodys
Post-Parlo Records

When That 70's Show first came out, we (me + roommates) would laugh at its utter idiocy. Next thing I knew, I was hooked on the durned thing. Not for the writing (the same reason why you're here right now), not even for the Alex Chilton opener, but for the girls in hip-huggers and other such poly and denim delights! Base as that, but it keeps me afloat in the hopes of the next Tuesday night, with Laura Prepon and Tanya Roberts and that other little girl, y'know, the whiny one, all back before my televised eyes. But I think back on it now, and perhaps my old roommates were a little more focused on Kelso and Hyde. Either way, as you watch it, it becomes painfully obvious that everyone from the 70's must look this fashionably good, even the balding parentals. Perhaps it is such a similar sort of good-looking nostalgic fantasia that fuels the licks, libidos, and lyrics of Those Peabodys.

My first drunken encounter with the lads revealed not only a bedroom wallpaper surely ripped from Edgar Winter/Rick Derringer tab books, hell, maybe even a little Leif Garrett teen rag tossed in, but a recognition of half the band constituting one of my favorite loud bands from Temple, Texas in the early-to-mid-90's, Radioland Hitsquad (not to mention favorite monikers). Instantly all ears, but I wasn't the only (or first) one; the Emo's crowd was already packed with pumping fists, sweaty bangs, and catchy shout-alongs from the devoted throng. How much longer could such a band be kept boiling under? Well, once James left and replacement guitarist Kiki Solis became overwhelmed with Rhythm of Black Lines duties (see last menu) and the drummer was pulled, the remains of the group (Clark and Adam, also the core) were left in the studio, at square one.

But the thick and chunky sound they achieved by just layering each other is astounding. For debut long-players from early twenty-somethings, their sonics are about as true and chrome-hued as any one of their devoted could have hoped. And surely there is not a wanting fan out there left disappointed or with hearing unrung, as this thing rocks. Please see your way past the folk-art cover (front a Gypsy motif, back Espagnol, inside a sort of 'Highlights' brand of English history of manners, the gatefold a sweet elementary school brass and woodwinds section) and into the stomps and chords of the opener Plum Parts, which screams and falls apart only to hit the main riff at full speed. Breathlessness from shouts in the first two and a half minutes. While Adam fulfills both sides of the Dave Grohl phenomena, stomping on the drums and on the guitar pedals, Clark does the Rickenbacker bass duties and hiccups and hollers his way around them words.

And it is at the lyrics that an important point about the band is made. There is the misconception that they are hawking seventies rock for their own (rear) ends, but there is a sort of wish fulfillment at work too, achieved through such simple means as Les Pauls, smoke, whisky, and drum crashes. There is not merely the scorn of a pedestrian, sales seminar life in Frank, but also an elevation of The Purple One to the level of a Confucius. A sign of the times? Cries and hoots about good-time gals (Judie) and house parties also abound. Perhaps the highlight of the album (or one of the catchiest at least) is Hazzard Co., which is a rocked-up take of the outlaw life as Bo and/or Luke Duke, with eyefuls of Daisy to boot, scooting across the hood of the General Lee and jumping creek beds too. From my own childhood in small town Texas, such weekly programming antics were the fuel/ fodder of many a Hot Wheels daydream. And to think that these lads have hit upon this collective unconscious with the wah wah at full blast and their rock engine revved, only makes the live show that much more exhilarating. These guys are living the sweet reveries of all air-guitarist wanna-bes, and bedding all the Daisy-Duked fantasies to boot. Dang. Or as Roscoe P. Coltrane would say: 'Doot doot doot doot'.

Post-Parlo Records, PO Box 49121, Austin, TX 78765, USA

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