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Tuesday, 8 March 2016
THE LAISSEZ FAIRS – THE LAISSEZ FAIRS (Autumn 66 Records CDr, D/L). JOHN FALLON – AFTERWORD (Autumn 66 Records CDr, D/L). O’s – ARE WE HERE? (Do It Right! Records CDr, D/L).
Strange things are happening in Las Vegas……………already a hyper-surreal city where history is bent into strange shapes for chubby fingered gamblers in velour leisure suits and fuelled on burgers and pills, Elvis made his last stand…….. Like electric acid dandies in the underworld, sixties obsessives The Laissez Fairs have taken their British Mod/Freakbeat/Psych influences Stateside and dropped Swinging London right into Sin City, creating an alternative universe where Tomorrow have a residency at The Colosseum and Granny Takes A Trip have opened a branch on the Strip……fab gear and clothing in Las Vegas. Fronted by John Fallon (ex of The Steppes) and studio addict Joe Lawless, The Laissez Fairs are part of a small Vegas neo-psychedelic scene inspired by the sounds of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks and Pink Floyd…………recently dropping in our inbox are three records from that scene that lovers of classic, essentially English, Psychedelic Pop are going to dig.
From The Laissez Fairs psychedelic sweet shoppe comes a recent album of kandy kolored pick ‘n’ mix psychedelia with attitude. Stylistically from the period around ’66/’67 when Mods started dropping acid and turning on (the high point of this scene must be the Small Faces lysergic odyssey Ogdens’s Nut Gone Flake) mixing pastoral psychedelia with slashing, aggressive guitars, this record mixes up a whole host of cool 60s sounds with a ton of pop smarts creating a really vibrant maximum Mod/Psych album. Full of the same textures that the Laissez Fairs brought to the Gleaming EP (their collaboration with Herself), essentially a studio construct with Fallon & Lawless playing the majority of the instruments between themselves with drummer Chris Glaser holding down the beat and David Whitt chipping in with the occasional Rickenbacker twelve-string, The Laissez Fairs debut album is a beautifully crafted record with an enormous depth of sound that evokes both the sweaty atmosphere of the Marquee Club and the more gentle vibes of a band “getting it together in the country”. Opening with the Pop Sike amphetamine rush of ‘He's Your Replacement’ (watch the video here), The Laissez Faires take a meandering journey through a kaleidoscopic Psych landscape which takes inspiration from early Pink Floyd/Syd Barrett (‘Crows Sing Loud’), Byrdsian jangle (‘Never Come Back ‘), baroque psychedelic pop (‘Spiral’) and whimsical pop tunes that would not sound out of place on a Robyn Hitchcock/Soft Boys album (‘Miss Six Foot Legs’) along with the more obvious Mod/Freakbeat influences. The standout track has to be the wonderful ‘Primrose Hill’ which has the feel of the late 60s Kinks before a surge of guitars push the track to a swirling psychedelic climax. If anyone has ever wondered what John Fallon was doing since The Steppes disbanded, then here is your answer……….he is still making fantastic 60s influenced music every bit as good as his work with The Steppes.
The Laissez Fairs debut album is available as a digital download from their bandcamp page at https://thelaissezfairs.bandcamp.com/releases and from Amazon (where an Autumn 66 Records CDr is also available). Check it out kidz, it’s all your 60s Psychedelic Pop thrills in one handy package.
Also emanating from JohnFallon’s big electric expanding brain is his solo album, Afterword, which can be seen as a bridge between The Steppes and the Laissez Fairs. Released a little over 12 months ago, Afterword is a 12 track mixed bag of Steppes remixes (‘Picture Yourself Today; and ‘Theme For Steve McQueen’) a couple of live recordings with Rob Campanella of The Brian Jonestown Massacre (‘Master James’ and ‘No Names Yet For Henry’) and some cool new tunes with ‘For You Girl’, ‘Alone’, ‘(Live In A) Garbage Can’ and ‘Yes, You Are’ being particularly groovy (watch the video for ‘(Live In A) Garbage Can here). A stripped down, basic, far more guitar driven album than the Laissez Fairs record, Afterword is a squally Psychedelic Rock ‘n’ Roll album with heavy Paisley Underground, The Beatles, The Kinks, The Who, The Move, The Creation, early Bowie, T-Rex and '60s Dylan influences full of the ideas and sketches that would be fleshed out working with Joe Lawless on The Laissez Fairs wonderful debut album. Well worth checking out for both fans of The Steppes and of John Fallon’s newer material. Released by Autumn 66 Records as a CDr, the album is available from Amazon and as a digital download from John Fallon’s Bandcamp page at https://johnfallon1.bandcamp.com/releases.
From the same Vegas scene as The Laissez Fairs are the O’s. Formally known as the O’s Of Presidential, they now have a less ungainly name (although a lot harder to Google) but their music is still a fantastic blend of late ‘60s Beatles/Rolling Stones and classic Garage Rock. The O's debut album, Are We Here?, features eleven tripped out, retro flavoured tunes written by lead singer/guitarist Evan Donoghue and has been produced at the Lawless Noise and Visions Recording bunker by John Fallon and Joe Lawless (who just happens to be guitarist/keyboard player with the O’s as well as a member of the Laissez Fairs). Like the Laissez Fairs, the O’s are mining the same rich seams of classic 60s Psychedelic Pop but are also adding a huge slice of raw Nuggets style Garage Rock to the mix which is totally evident in the opener ‘Alright’. Psychedelic and catchy with a pop sensibility and scope, Are We Here? is a great modern Psych record which we recommend you check out………there are some great tunes here, ‘Mirroring Your Stare’ and ‘Sea Of Green’ in particular are two massive headswirlers that fans of S.F. Sorrow era Pretty Things are going to love. Released on Do It Right! Records, Are We Here? by the O’s is available to purchase now on either CDr or as a download from Amazon or CD Baby.