Forgotten series: The Cynics – Spinning Wheel Motel (2011)

Not enough people heard the full-throttle contemporary garage music hurtled at you by these Pittsburgh legends, as the Cynics made a solid comeback a few years ago.

Spinning Wheel Motel boasts solid songwriting, and a good sense of humor too as each of the album’s 10-songs is given a separate room instead of being listed as Song 1, Song 2, etc. You gotta love that!

No song typifies the Cynics complete return to form like the album starter “I Need More,” a tale of daily frustration and boredom. Spiral swirling buzz guitar and Dylan-esque observations inform the strutting let’s-get-real honesty of “Zombie Walk.” “Junk” has a Kinks-like verve, even as this caveman mentality takes over on “All Good Women.”

Meanwhile, the upbeat and jangly “Gehenna,” the mid-tempo “Circles Arcs and Swirls,” and the love-lost title track wouldn’t have sounded too out of place on any of the first three R.E.M. albums. All singer Michael Kastelic needs is the “Rock Club” to cure what ails him in life.

Steve Elliott

Steve Elliott has written for Shindig, Twist and Shake, Garage & Beat and Ugly Things. A big fan of all things rock and roll - especially the British Invasion, garage rock, psychedelic, new wave, folk rock, surf and power pop - he was a consultant on Sundazed Music's reissue of 'The Best of Butch Engle & The Styx: No Matter What You Say' in 2000, and has also provided liner notes for Italy's Misty Lane Records. Contact Something Else! at
  • Wiso

    Awesome, song, awesome record, awesome performances!!! this is why i like music!!!