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Flamin’ Groovies - Fantastic Plastic album review

Groovies return with style-straddling career peak

Cover art for Flamin’ Groovies - Fantastic Plastic album

For many, the return of the fabulous Flamin’ Groovies with their classic mid-70s front line is the surprise event of the year, compounded by a new album that is among their best since they were formed by guitarist Cyril Jordan in San Francisco more than 50 years ago.

Singer-guitarist Chris Wilson might have left 38 years, ago but it’s like he’s never been gone as he joins Jordan and original bassist George Alexander on delirious Stonesy opener What The Hell’s softwareuiphraseguid=“70c12e7a-e176-42ed-8257-66c1659866a5”>Goin’ On and 11 more examples of their unique grasp of rock’s core 60s essence, including Crazy Macy, Shake Some Action-revisiting End Of The World and covers of the Beau Brummels and NRBQ, with Jordan a revelation throughout, building lush carpets of serpentine feedback and chiming Rickenbacker jangle.

The Groovies are indeed back, still majestic, supernatural and magnificently defiant, and as a result the rock‘n’roll world feels back on its axis.

Kris Needs is a British journalist and author, known for writings on music from the 1970s onwards. Previously secretary of the Mott The Hoople fan club, he became editor of ZigZag in 1977 and has written biographies of stars including Primal Scream, Joe Strummer and Keith Richards. He's also written for MOJO, Record Collector, Classic Rock, Prog, Electronic Sound, Vive Le Rock and Shindig!