The 21st Century Sound Movement – The 21st Century Sound Movement (2013)

Here’s a reissue of an album so obscure that even the most obsessive fan and collector of such period pieces didn’t realize it existed until recently.

Despite their ongoing efforts trying to hunt down the members of the 21st Century Sound Movement, the Gear Fab research team hit a wall. But they do know for a fact the group’s solitary album was recorded in 1969 at Damon Studios in Kansas City, Missouri.

The term “garage band” has become so overused and misused throughout the years that any act hawking a deadly snarl and three chords professes to fit the bill. But the 21st Century Sound Movement really were a certified garage band. Raw and minimal, but capable of carrying a tune and playing in the pocket, they also had the right attitude, meaning they created music purely for fun and pleasure.

A fast and fuzz tone-drenched rendition of “The House Of The Rising Sun” sits solid as a particular cracker on “The 21st Century Sound Movement,” along with an original number, “For The Rest Of My Life” that mixes breathy Zombies styled pop harmonies with slamming rhythms.

The Beatles are recycled with love and affection in the presence of “Hey Jude,” which ends with a drum solo before morphing directly into the chorus of Steam’s “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” that also features a drum solo. Quite a clever concept indeed, the way the band blends the “na na’s” from these songs into a tasty jam.

Gerry and the Pacemakers are given a nice tribute via a stark and haunting cover of “Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying,” and although treatments of Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire” and Iron Butterfly’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” aren’t nearly as heavy and hairy as the initial recordings, the 21st Century Sound Movement tackles these acid rock classics with earnest enthusiasm.

The disc further includes both sides of a single the band released in 1971 on the Cave label. Assumed to be self-composed confections, “Feelin’ Down” and “First Day” rattle and race to a hard rocking reservoir carved of groaning keyboards and brisk and nifty guitar ruffles that make me think of a less-bluesy Animals or a slimmer, trimmer version of the Doors, if that makes sense.

Like the best rock and roll, The 21st Century Sound Movement is pronounced by energy and exuberance. The vocals are catchy and green, and the performances are economical. Exuding warmth and charm, the album is a keeper on a variety of levels.

I bet the 21st Century Movement would have never imagined people would be listening to and enjoying their music in the 21st century!

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Beverly Paterson

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

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