Listen/Download -Thorinshield – Wrong My Friend
I hope that the new week finds you well.
The tune I bring you today is yet another cog in the machine that is my 60s LA rock obsession.
I would have to admit that I knew of the sole, self-titled LP by Thorinshield as a rare album (mainly via recognition of its cover) for years before I ever heard a note.
I’d seen the record in a number of record digger’s ‘finds’ posts, and I’d heard the name, but aside from vague inferences of psychedelia – via the look and the milieu from which the band sprung – I knew nothing about them or their music.
Then, sometime in the last couple of years I heard the track ‘Daydreaming’, after which I started to seek out the record in earnest.
The biggest surprise for me (once I got my hands on a copy) was how far the music fell from all of the ‘sunshine pop’ lip service I had seen applied to it.
Released in 1967 on the Philips label, the Thorinshield album is a fantastic piece of what I would term ‘transitional psychedelia’, in that instead of being redolent of a specific spot on the time (or sound) line, it manages to draw from a number of different vibes – if you will – bridging the gap between them.
Thorinshield – guitarist Jimmy Smith, drummer Terry Hand and bassist Bobby Ray – managed to bring together prime Sunset Strip folk rock, baroque touches, and early psychedelia to weave a unique sonic tapestry.
Though I’ve heard the members of the group dismissing the orchestration of the album for obscuring the sound of the band, the arrangements by Perry Botkin are for me what really ‘makes’ the album. Though I dig the songwriting and performing a lot, the orchestral touches really add a lot to the album. While I suspect a lot of artists would take issue with this statement, many of my favorite albums probably wouldn’t be the classics they are without a first rate arranger dressing things up, especially the debut albums by Biff Rose (a neglected classic, IMHO) and Nick Drake.
The track I bring you today, ‘Wrong My Friend’ is my favorite on the album, with a Byrds-y vibe, great harmonies by the band and great arrangement. It really has the feel of LA right before things went all hippy, i.e. progressive without being self-indulgent, maintaining its stylistic ties to the fertile world of the 66/67 Sunset Strip.
It’s a great artifact of a very brief, musical window in time, and worth finding on CD (or if you’re lucky, vinyl) so you can hear the whole thing.
I hope you dig it and I’ll see you next week.