Pretentious I may seem, but the 7 disk (thats 17.78cm for
you Continental vinyl junkies) that you have just smuggled from record
store to bedroom (foiled again, Mum!) is a most heartwarming example of
an all too rare phenomenon: multi-racial harmony. Not that theres
anything terribly harmonious about this debut EP by the Mersey Sect, a
no-holds-barred serving of rock & roll in the style made popular by
the beat combos of early sixties Liverpool. But the twanging, banging
and hollering contained herein are the work of three Italians, one Englishman,
and a singer of Gallic origin with a mysterious pseudonym : The
Slushy Ruin. Add the fact that the bands regular lead singer,
who kindly agreed to let Monsieur Ruin handle vocal duties here, is a
New Yorker born-and-bred, and youll begin to understand what Im
jabbering on about.
However, to paraphrase the wise words of a certain Mr. Diddley -he who
patented the jungle beat way back in the 50s- You cant judge
an EP by looking at the sleeve. So without any further ado, place
aforementioned platter on turntable and set spinning. (Leave those headphones
right where they are...its not audio sophistication that were
bothered about here.)
Things get under way at a breakneck pace with a stirring Slushy Ruin composition,
and you may well imagine yourself struggling for elbow space on the floor
of Liverpools Cavern Club or Hamburgs Kaiserkellar. Indeed,
the more energetic of you will doubtless wish to engage in the Twist,
the Shake n Shimmy, the Stomp, the Hully Gully, and why not?
The Whelky Walk.
The boys have been thoughtful
enough to close Side One with a ballad, an unashamed attempt to tone things
down before renewing their frenzied onslaught on the flipside. Ballad
it may be, but I suspect youll be tapping your feet as you soak
in the haunting melody of Every Day And Every Night.
Side Two takes us back to the year 1963 for a vibrant reading of Lies,
the only cover tune here present. Originally recorded by Liverpools
highly wonderful Johnny Sandon & the Remo Four, and masterfully penned
by the late great Colin Manley, this was possibly the sharpest piece of
beat n roll ever to be etched in British wax. Sad to say, it quite
flew over the head of the buying public at the time. More fool them.
Into the home strait now, and our multinational beatniks try their collective
hand at...well, just how does one pin a label on You Deceived Me, this
bouncy closing number? Rhythm & blues ? Rockabilly ? Lets just
say that Fats Domino meets Carl Perkins on the Mersey ferry.
And there you have the Mersey Sect's debut EP. Original ? Hardly. Thought-provoking
? Probably not. But it's all honest toil, and you won't hear it in shopping
malls or hotel lounges, and it's a nostalgic trip down memory lane, and
at least three-quarters of it is probably danceable, and you don't often
find bands whose members span three different nationalities, and I can
think of worse ways of earning a living than reviewing this stuff.
Ronnie M. Trucid
(voir aussi deux autres articles en français : leçon
1 et leçon 2)