On Second Thought: The Above – The Above (2010)

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An outstanding debut album from Brooklyn, New York’s the Above, this self-titled project boasts a rock solid Kinks/Who freakbeat sound. Guitarist/singer/songwriter David Alan Horowitz leads this five-piece crew down Carnaby Street, London, circa 1966.

There’s “Bollywood Woman,” which has ’60s hit single written all over it. Head rockin’! “Walked Out on Me” and “Don’t Believe in the Light” — the latter of which has Syd Barrett-like guitar flourishes — are songs Ray Davies would have been proud to have written for The Kinks back in 1967. Check out the psychedelic music video for “Don’t Believe in the Light”!

Most of the tunes here have a Pete Townshend/Dave Davies-like guitar thrust, but with some tasteful Hammond organ thrown in for added color. The opener, “What She said” drives hard like the Jam, though more like something out of the garage with the Creation’s vocalizing. “Something Special” is just that, and so damn catchy and explosive that you’ll have fight to keep this song out of your head. This tune would be another hit single, if radio was hip.

“Act Your Age,” another Davies-like song, wouldn’t have sounded too out of place on Kink Kontroversary. The stomping, dynamic workout “You’re Gonna Cry” is yet another cool up-tempo tune that screams ’60s BBC radio. “It’s Good” ends this gem with an ethereal, Who Sell Out feel.

Steve Elliott

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.
Steve Elliott
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