The Fleshtones CD review [Yep Roc]

Music Reviews
The Fleshtones CD review [Yep Roc]
Aug 9, 2005, 17:40


Garage-rock revivalist gran'-dads The Fleshtones have just about always anchored their aesthetic to the subtle, yet decisive, tweaking of the genre's venerated clichés. The overall provenance of their influences is obvious, yet the points of departure forcible enough to provide pleasant tingles of surprise throughout. The Fleshtones never played the purist game and ain't starting to on Beachhead.

The obvious difference 'tween this and their last record Do You Swing is that the latter sounded like it was no fun to make. Peter Zaremba's vocals felt like they were e-mailed in and Pro-tooled within an inch of its life. On the other hand Beachhead is as gloopy with loosey-goosey joie de vivre as rock 'n' roll should be. Keith Streng's guitars crunch and growl, all obstreperous and rude and Zaremba's singing is raw, excited and spontaneous. If some lines probably coulda been sung more in-tune with a few more takes—well the spirit's just right. The cavalier attitude towards studio polish underlines and amplifies the energy and emotion. The backing vocals are even MORE sloppy and energetic and key-up the mood even further. Could be that the producers—fresh outta The Dirtbombs and Southern Culture On The Skids—had a hand in getting The Fleshtones to recall and trust their best instincts.

But it's still the 'Tones' reflexes and abilities that are being drawn on. Basically Beachhead is as great a Fleshtones record as the last one was a lamer. [Yep Roc]

-Howard Wuelfing

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