Listen/Download – The Kingsmen – Trouble
Before we get started, it behooves me to make you aware that Pennytown Sound has done a deluxe reissue of Mod Fun’s 1984 debut 45, in a fantastic new picture sleeve. You get remastered versions of the Mod revival classics ‘I Am With You’ and ‘Happy Feeling’. This was one of the best 45s of the 80s, and now you can have your own copy! You can hit up Pennytown Sound on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/penntownsound or contact them through the postal service at Pennytown Sound, PO Box 771, Pennington, NJ 08534 USA
I hope all is groovy in your part of the world.
This week, I thought I’d whip out a little garage grit from the archives.
The Kingsmen are certainly one of the better known progenitors of (and eventually participators in) the 60s garage punk thing.
There are those that’ll try to convince you that all roads lead to ‘Louie Louie’, but I’d bring things into slightly clearer focus by directing you to the whole Pacific Northwest sound as the closest thing 60s punk has to a genuine incubator.
Certainly there are all of the outside influences, American R&B and soul, British beat and R&B, surf, rockabilly etc, but rarely did all the threads of Gordian knot come together the way they did in the foggy, damp, evergreen world of Washington and Oregon.
The Kingsmen were together for a long-ass time, with a whole lot of members, and they managed to stay on the charts to one extent or another for almost ten years.
Today’s selection is one of those tunes that rang a bell when I heard it, but I couldn’t remember why for the longest time.
‘Trouble’, written by Artie Resnick and Joey Levine appeared on the group’s 1966 LP ‘Up and Away’ and was released as a single (with almost no impact) the same year.
It’s a rough, raw slice of garage stomp, not in the “roots of garage” way, but in a real, snotty, mid-60s teen way.
Pushed forward by heavy rhythm guitar and primitive drumming, the vocals are just this side of ‘off key’ (in a good way) and the lyrics are good’n’mean.
‘Up and Away’ is a great album, with lots of cool cuts, including the Kingsmen take on the PNW standard ‘Little Sally Tease’, Beatles, Stones and Troggs covers and some cool originals.
I had this track in storage for a long time because I knew I’d heard it covered somewhere, but couldn’t remember who had done it. This week when it finally hit me that I’d heard it covered back in the 80s by the mighty Fleshtones, so I figured that now that the slate was clean, it was time to drop it in your laps.
I hope you dig it, and I’ll see you next week.