Fantastic Plastic

Flamin' Groovies

Severn Records, 2017

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Someone once dubbed the Flamin' Groovies as "the best rock & roll band you never heard of." Formed by Cyral Jordan in 1965 as a classic San Francisco underground psychedelic rock band, Flamin’ Groovies incorporated some power pop into their sound with the addition of Chris Wilson during the early 1970s. They have now released their first studio album in over two decades with my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Fantastic Plastic. 

Their new release is a guitar album at its foundation. Wilson and Jordan are both excellent guitarists and producers. J. Jaffe contributes some steel and slide guitar as well.

The album is graced by ten new compositions cutesy of Jordan and Wilson. They wisely do not try to reinvent themselves but instead build on their past. "What The Hell's Goin' On" is emblematic of their guitar driven rock approach with the vocals piled on top and is easily recognizable to anyone who has followed the band. "Just Like A Hurricane" finds them moving in a blues direction. Songs such as "I'd Rather Spend My Time With You," "Let Me Rock," and "Crazy Macy" are all well written and produced rock and roll.

There are two cover songs in addition to the ten original compositions here. They move NRBQ's "I Want You Bad" in a pop direction. The Beau Brummels were another unappreciated band from the era and Flamin’ Groovies puts some energy into their version of "Don't Talk To Strangers." All of the songs are concise and have a tightness with little wasted effort.

The original artwork by Cyril Jordan is a tribute to Mad Magazine writer Jack Davis. I wish I could see it on a regular vinyl side album as it is a wonderful nostalgic trip back to another era.

The Flamin’ Groovies has always deserved better commercially. Fantastic Plastic picks up where they left off and presents some high quality rock and roll.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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