A new Flamin’ Groovies album doesn’t come along every year. Or even every decade. That being said, will once in a century work for you? Improbable as it may seem, 2017 brings a brand new Groovies album, Fantastic Plastic, reuniting the band’s key songsmiths/players Cyril Jordan and Chris Wilson. In fact, it’s been almost four entire decades since that duo operated in tandem (even the 1991 Groovies disk, Rock Juice only entailed Cyril).
For those of you in the audience who may not quite be enlightened to whom these gents are, the Flamin’ Groovies christened their collective ship in the mid ’60s in San Francisco, but they bore little to nothing in common with the Haight-Ashbury contingents of the day. Bypassing psychedelia and flower-power in favor of back to basics roots rock, the Groovies eventually settled on a garage-cum-proto power pop penchant releasing six albums up until the late ’70s, culminating in their rightfully lauded and visceral signature piece, “Shake Some Action.”
Longtime aficionados of this combo would be well within their right minds if they concluded that Fantastic Plastic barely emanates the tenor of the Groovies original incarnation. After all, Jimmy Carter was in the White House when these guys were still at it full time. Instead, what you can purloin on Fantastic are occasional shades and colorings of their former selves if only infrequently. “Cryin Shame” and “I Want You Bad” (the latter an NRBQ cover) reacquaint us with the Groovies resonant jangle of yore. You might say these songs in particular hearken back to “First Plane Home,” a breezy, mid-tempo endeavor from the band’s halcyon era. Otherwise Cyril and Co. are starting off with a veritable clean slate. The opening “What the Hell’s Going On” is a sweet, Stonesy jaunt that plays out more convincingly than anything Mick and Keef have doled out in the last thirty years, and sprite “Crazy Macy” is the closest they come to replicating their ragin’ vintage aplomb.
Fantastic will surely reaffirm a good quotient of the Groovies old school faithful – and that’s exactly who this record is tailored to. Millennials be damned. You can hook yourself up with a copy over at Severn Records, Amazon, and iTunes.