(Dionysus Records, CD)
Producer Will Shade and the good folks at Dionysus Records have put together another kick-ass collection of vintage North Country rock 'n' roll. Whereas its predecessor, Heart So Cold, centered on Plattsburgh rockers, the new compilation, Cry of Atlantis, draws more from bands from this side of the lake.
Included on the disc are tunes by The Vistas, Motts Men, The Chosen Few, Freddie & the Freeloaders and more. Among the roster are two bands whose personnel remains a mystery: The Tyros and The Corvettes.
It's amazing to consider that before The Beatles invaded America, the Green Mountains echoed with high-energy, impassioned rock 'n' roll. Even more stunning is how hip the music still sounds. One can only wonder if today's local bands will age half as well.
Atlantis kicks off with "Rock, Rock, Rocket Ship," a rowdy, Gene Vincent-style number by Plattsburgh's The Rockers. With its slap-back echo vocals, meaty twang and boss backbeat, the song is the epitome of delinquent cool.
Burlington's Vistas offer the sunny, Beach Boys-style cut "I Want a Cadillac." As the hottest B-town band of their day, they got the chance to record in the big city of Montréal. The closing track, "I Want You," is also by The Vistas. It boasts a seductive vocal performance not unlike Colin Blunstone's work with The Zombies.
Legendary Plattsburgh cats The Thunderbolts contribute the oddball instrumental "The Fisherman." The tune features both a bitchin' guitar solo and a goofy conversation about seafood. Embarrassed at the finished product, the band actually released it under the alias Shawn & the Sunnys.
Former St. Michael's College students The Chosen Few give us "Get in On Life," a rough-and-tumble cut that anticipates the rise of Motor City bad-asses The Stooges. They cut this number back in '67 but never managed to record a follow-up. Too bad.
The Tyros' "Trying to Get to You" is a sweet little ballad about a fella searching for his gal. The fact that nobody knows who was in the band only adds to its romantic allure.
Motts Men's slab of proto-psychedelia, "She's So Mean," features jangly guitars and incessant tambourine, while Freddy & the Freeloaders' "Patty!" is an uptempo love song with reverb-drenched vocals.
The album's title track comes courtesy of The Persuaders. It was apparently Plattsburgh label Rondack Records' strongest seller, garnering airplay as far off as Albany.
Cry of Atlantis is a treasure trove of lost classics that will delight collectors and the simply curious. Hope there's another batch on the way - I'm addicted.