The Sneetches – 1985-1991 (1991): Forgotten series

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Named after those funny Dr. Seuss characters we all know and love, the Sneetches were greatly adored by the indie crowd back in the day.

Coming together in 1985, the San Francisco, California-based band remained intact for about ten years, and during that period they cut half a dozen albums and singles. Although I recommend everything these guys transmitted to tape, at this time I am championing 1985-1991 (Alias Records), which features their first album, “Lights Out! With The Sneetches,” plus an assortment of odds and sods.

Blessed with solid songwriting chops and crackerjack chemistry, the band was purveyors of juicy fruit pop matter. Liquid sunshine vocals, often dotted with a sense of yearning, matched by clumps of colossal hooks and flocks of fluttering choruses, constituted the relentlessly catchy music of the Sneetches. Snippets of the Zombies, the Knickerbockers and the Merry Go Round frequently pricked the band’s confections, but fresh energy and an occasionally sarcastic and cynical outlook slapped a modern spin into the mix. The Sneetches played pure pop for now people, to borrow a phrase from Nick Lowe.

Propelled by exuberant rhythms and miles of merry melodies, “Only For A Moment,” “In My Car” and “Don’t Expect Her For You (Look At That Girl)” glimmer to the end of the line with perfectly realized pop practices, where “54 Hours” and “Strange Things” whirl to the contagious clip of dizzy tempos. The rockabilly slanted “Please Don’t Break My Heart” proves to be yet another pick to click on 1985-1991, while earnest covers of the Easybeats’ “Pretty Girl” and Raspberries’ “I Wanna Be With You” pay credible tribute to the band’s roots.

Swamped with ringing guitars, tuneful singing and a happy sound that’s hard not to hum along with and tap your toes to, here’s a disc sure to satisfy the sweet tooth of those addicted to real deal pop music.

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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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