Re-formations are a tricky thing. It’s hard not to question the motivation, and the end result can find a precious entity becoming a Marshalled-up chugganaut with little authenticity or self-respect.
This is different. Cali garage giants The Chocolate Watchband’s ‘original line-up’ (questionable, as members from three incarnations are here) have re-recorded 13 tracks exactly the way they did in the 60s. Instruments, echo room, the works. It’s a good set, and fun to play spot the difference against the originals.
Some tracks retain attitude and raw power (Gone And Passes By, Sweet Young Thing), some reflect the pace of the 60-somethings remodelling them (Are You Gonna Be There, I Ain’t No Miracle Worker). It sure whets the appetite for any live shows, but the baffling bit is why they’ve done it at all.
Perhaps a comment on the stifling influence of their production svengali Ed Cobb – a way of saying: ‘we own these tracks now’?