On Second Thought: The Waistcoats – We Are The Doctors (2011)

This 2011 offering from Netherland’s Waistcoats was a full-on Who-influenced rock opera, at least for half of the album, giving an obvious nod Tommy. Flip the record over to the b-side, and it was a whole other deal, however. It didn’t appear to be related to the concept portion of this album at all. So, I am guessing we’re dealing with half a concept here, which is odd.

Still, there were things worth remembering: A fine instrumental called “Opel Kadett” opened the b-side, with the swell garage-punk organ raver “Turn It Down” continuing the charge after that. “Going Going Gone” sounded the kind of turbo-charged, hard-rockin’ tune the Rolling Stones wished they had written back in the 1960s — but the Waiscoats now have that honor. It’s a real head banger, in the best sense of the word. “She Found” was another fine mid-tempo rocker, cast in the Beau Brummels mold.

There was an unexpected, yet welcome, garage-rock treatment of Earth and Fire’s 1970 track “Seasons,” making for a fabulously spirited cover version. Kudos, also, on the bold gate-fold LP with a large band photo on the inside and a sexy nurse on the front.

As for the six-song a-side of We Are The Doctors (Larsen Recordz), well, it concentrates on the rock opera portion — with each song flowing one into the other and the band taking on characters to create a narrative. “Overture: Who Can Help This Man” flows into “We Are The Doctors: The Problem Is Being Dealt With Medically,” then “The Master” and “You Know Better Than Me,” followed by “Happy Day: The Chase” and “I am Tomorrow.” Unfortunately, the I am not sure exactly what they’re trying to say within the context of the opera portion, since it really doesn’t go anywhere.

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 reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.

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