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Mishmash of every 60's band you've ever heard
on October 23, 2002
A pretty motley collection of singles that Merrell Fankhauser was involved with in some way, stuck together in one package and called by the name of one of his bands. This could have just as easily (and more truthfully) been called "Merrell and the Exiles," or "Merrell: The Early Years."
Overall this is a very disjointed sounding record; production values vary widely from song to song, which is to be expected, because the songs were recorded at widely different times from one another, in different studios, and even with different bands.
That in itself doesn't account for the two star review; what really sinks this record is the general awfulness of the songs. The songs are mostly a mishmash of every popular 60's band you ever heard of, with very little musical innovation. The lyrics are absolutely horrible, loaded down with cliches' and easy rhymes, and all about "girls."
There were any number of bands across the United States who were writing songs like this in the 1960s, and they disappeared into obscurity. These songs are no better, and by comparison with many of the garage bands playing at the same time, Fapardokly a/k/a Merrell and the Exiles don't really come off any better. On some songs, they come off considerably worse by comparison. But most of the songs are amazingly average, pleasant enough but completely derivative and unmemorable. There are no "Pushin' Too Hards" or "I Had Too Much To Dream Last Nights" hidden here. Just very average (and sometimes not even that) singing and playing on some very average songs. The liner notes and photos of the bands verge on Spinal Tap territory.
This recording makes me wonder, frankly, what the big fuss over Merrell Fankhauser's music is all about. There's very little here that would make me come back to this CD to listen to it again. Painfully average.