Saturday, April 28, 2007

Review: The Things - Major Bailey's Menagerie

Label: self-released; available through CDBaby

Released: 2004

I bought this at the same time that I picked up the Charms' So Pretty from CD Baby. There was a "buy three CDs and get them for $5 each" sale and I had two already, so pretty much got this one for free. The Things are a Baltimore garage rock band, so I thought I'd give a local band some support.

Major Bailey's Menagerie has some of the makings of a very good garage album. The music is raw and a bit sloppy. The rhythm section is competent, but more importantly, enthusiastic. The guitar is loud, chunky and dirty. While the vocals often have a second-rate Grace Slick quality, at least they're stealing from something a little off the beaten path. The band does mix things up with some slower, mellower tracks among the generally unbridled energy that runs through the album. The Things also capture the dark feel of 60s underground psyche and they pull off a fair cover of the Sonics classic "The Witch.".

The trouble with this album is that it is strictly rehashing something that's already been done. It isn't influenced by the garage/psyche/pre-punk bands of yesterday, it is a re-enactment and, even though it's a decent one, it doesn't really stand up well on its own. The one really significant difference between Major Bailey's Menagerie and its predecessors is that the production was probably a little better back then.

I doubt I'd pick up another album from the Things, but based on the energy on this one, I suspect they'd be worth checking out live. Perhaps in that setting, they could conjure up the past even if it isn't theirs.

Rating: 5/10

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to listen and review our album.

the things

3:37 PM  

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