The Fallen Angels, the Mad Hatters – The Mad Hatters Meet the Fallen Angels (2011)

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If you resided in the Washington D.C. area in the 1960s and attended shows, you probably remember the Mad Hatters and the Fallen Angels, as they regularly played the local circuit. They also cut some great discs, and this swinging set contains the entire Mad Hatters catalog, along with a sampling of Fallen Angels tunes. Previously unreleased material is included as well.

Avowed disciples of big beat British blues, the Mad Hatters effectively evoke such sounds on “I Need Love” and “Go Find A Love.” Pierced with the warbling pitch of a harmonica, these loose and brash songs openly mimic the likes of the Rolling Stones and the Pretty Things. The Mad Hatters further dabbled in folk rock and did so with style and class. Driven by a catchy hootenanny feel, “This Is How It’s Gonna Be” is a real toe-tapper, while a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ In The Wind” is recycled with care and confidence.

Then there’s a take of Lulu’s “I’ll Come Running,” which gallops along to a brisk and bubbly cadence. A few live tracks appear on the album too, that burst with frantic energy and stress the band’s ability to work a crowd.

Dark, moody and dripping with heartbreak, “Have You Ever Lost A Love” by the Fallen Angels reflects the cracked emotions of the Music Machine, while the astonishingly progressive “I Have Found” is spiked with violins and conducts a commanding presence. The specter of Bob Dylan dwells within the creaky folk-rock of “Pebble In My Sand” and an interpretation of Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love” stomps and pounds with urgency.

As extra frosting on the cake, The Mad Hatters Meet the Fallen Angels (Cicadelic Records) features the chiming folk pop of the Loved Ones and “I Need Love” from the Time Stoppers, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, band that scored a minor hit single with their peachy keen rendition of the Mad Hatters tune.

Solid from start to finish, “The Mad Hatters Meet The Fallen Angels” is a must have for those partial to both folk rock and garage punk. The Cicadelic label has sure been cranking out a lot of cool and interesting recordings lately, and here’s another pick package to add to your collection.

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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