Friday, September 19, 2008

Paisley Underground Legends The Marshmallow Overcoat and their new release The Light Show is Fuzzadelic!

The Marshmallow Overcoat

The Light Show

The Marshmallow Overcoat were a Paisley Underground band. That's a pretty important distinction as it was the first garage rock revival. without bands like them, a lot of bands that we all find so important today might have never started. What's more, they're and always have been all about The Fuzz! They're new release The Light Show is purely fuzzadelic. It's slightly familiar, but these guys were the true originals.

Love's "A House Is Not A Hotel" is an ambitious choice to start off The Light Show. Not just because it's a cover, but because Love and their music were not particularly oriented towards electric guitar, but more LA folk based, multiintstrumental. Love made some of the best music out there and I highly recommend it, but The Marshmallow Overcoat turn their song into a loud but still melodic rock song as a great reinterpretation and homage. I'm not sure why "Santa Fuzz" is on this. Not exactly timely, and admittedly a silly title. On the other hand, this song is pure, heavy handed fuzz! Not only that, there's no other way to describe it! I'll take my present early this year, thanks! In the spirit of giving, the sweet sound of the Rick is pulled out and given the royal treatment on "She Don't Care About Time" by The Byrds.

The Marshmallow Overcoat have a sound from another decade, but they've got a great punch and throaty voiced abrasiveness that epitomizes the punk infusion of '60s garage rock. "Hate You Baby" is another superfuzz and Vox dirge that one can't help paticipating along with "Hate you baby, go away!" Vocalist Timothy Gassen is not a golden throat, that's for sure, but has an almost ghoulish "alright" that just could not be done any better. On the more melodic tracks, he's smoother, but overall, he sounds like a cool uncle who takes responsibility for teaching you what good music is. The album's title track The Light Show has a dark, eerie, deep Vox feel of the slower Doors work, but has a lot of subtlety to it that's so much better. On another keyboard based song "I Looked At You," Mr. Gassen sounds so scratchy and sad that it's almost perverse, but definitely fun. The downtempo "(Can't Stop) Thee Hands of Tyme" could have been the anti hippie downer song of '67. It has more Manzerek like keyboards and composition, but there's a psychedelic fuzz guitar assault in the middle that could make a flower wilt. "Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White" is a straight approach garage rock song reminiscent of "House of Rock" by their both timewarped and current counterparts, Hitsburg's own The Fleshtones!

The Light Show has eight tracks, but there are four bonus tracks and included in the CD-ROM version is a music video and a 28 song mp3 album. One can also order The Light Show with 27 Ghosts: The Best of 1986-2005 for $15 US postpaid. If that's not enough of a great offer to join the fuzzolution, their label also has the "Knights of Fuzz" DVD with 26 tracks from The Vipers, The Cynics, The Fuzztones, The Pandoras, The Gruesomes, and more combined with a CD from The Purple Merkins. Altogether, you've got some great choices about how to get your fuzzadelic on by getting music from a lot of great bands, but if you love fuzz, you're education and collection is nowhere near complete without The Marshmallow Overcoat.

It's not often that garage rock legends from when you were growing up reunite. It's almost never that they put out a new release and send it to you to review! The true Knights of Fuzz, The Marshmallow Overcoat are back and The Light Show is a timely and all too important testimony that shows us how it's done!

Brace yourselves. "Psilocybic Mind" and "The Mummy" from 27 Ghosts: The Best of 1986-2005 are more than enough to let you know what you've been missing.

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