For most musicians, returning to former glories in the studio is – at best – an indulgence. However, for these Bay Area veterans, it’s all about closure.
Denied the opportunity to play on the originals because of the industry practice of employing session musicians while the band were away on tour – they barely played a note on 1968’s psych-odyssey The Inner Mystique – I’m Not Like Everybody Else finds the gnarled quintet revisiting 13 of their most famous tracks.
Bearing in mind The Watchband’s complex history – they had a variety of radically different line ups before finally splitting in 1970 – this also seems like a handy way of authenticating their current incarnation, built around guitarist Timothy Abbott.
No matter. Delivered with a soulful honesty, cult classics including Sweet Young Thing, Are You Gonna Be There? and Let’s Talk About Girls don’t replicate the past, instead achieving a poignancy sometimes lacking in the originals.