US - Texas - Full Moon 54 - 03/09/01
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
Copyright © 2001 Andy Beta