The Royal Purple
They say "three's a charm," and
that's certainly true about Transcendental Medication,
release number three from The Royal Purple. which most definitely
charms all fans of 1960s garage, psychedelic and freakbeat.
The Royal Purple is an ongoing side project of two veterans
of the East Coast's popular 1960s revivalist bands, drummer
Mike Sinocchi of The Insomniacs, and multi-instrumentalist
Stu Rutherford of The Creatures Of The Golden Dawn. In 2004
the talented twosome recorded some covers of 1960s favorites
for fun, and the result, the six-track EP Spearmint Experiment
(see January 2005 Fufkin for my review) had critics
waving their pens in the affirmative, and listeners and friends
saying "More more more!" Mike and Stu said "Okay
okay okay," and eventually said many other things on
the full-length collection Instant Analysis, from June
2005. That release kicked off a trend that The Royal Purple
continues on their new album and will uphold future releases,
that being the duo joined on several tracks by guest vocalists.
Such guest appearances on Transcendental Medication
help sustain the feeling that The Royal Purple host the grooviest
1960s singing showcase in the East, and that just about every
New York metro area vocalist of note wants to take part.
The tracklist of this album reads like an awesome radio show
of overlooked 1960s music...or a creative mix CDR of rare
tracks. Bookended between a pair of impressive Rutherford
originals, those being the dancefloor-summoning rocker "Sound
On Sound," and "Keith Roger's Birthday," which
sounds like a mind-altering icing adorned the birthday cake
and like at least Rick Wright and his combo organ were invited
to the party, are twelve deep-pick covers from the mile-high
record shelves of Messers Sinocchi and Rutherford. Mike's
grab on The Skeptics' "Turn It On," a song whose
chorus instantly makes you wonder if Marc Bolan ever heard
it, hence its similarity to "Bang a Gong (Get It On,")
is another of the albums highest highs.
And then there are the guests: Most everyone who heard The
Royal Purple's last album placed Bibi Farber's mastery of
The Honeycombs' "Something I've Got To Tell You"
in their top two faves from the set, so her return on this
new set is most welcome. This time she applies her magic to
the equally impressive "Turning Back The Pages,"
originally by The Flies (she also lends backing vocals to
a few other selections.) Elsewhere, Cynthia Santiglia of New
Jersey's The High School Sweethearts tries to make us happy
with "I Tried To Make You Happy"...and succeeds
with flying purple colors, not only with her great vocal but
for also altering Os Brasas's "Eu Tentei Fazer Voce Feliz"
into something those of us not fluent in Portugese can sing
along to. And former Frigg Jenn Tarr impressively expands
on the tip of the criminally overlooked British songstress
Dana Gillespie, who turned a Donovan exclusive into one of
his most rocking tunes ever, and rocks it even harder.
But it's not just Ladies' Night at Club Purple. Uppers
writer Bill Luther proves himself as competent a vocalist
as a journalist by way of his stab at the upbeat "Come
And Stay With Me," written by Jackie DeShannon, mainly
associated with Marianne Faithful, though Bill takes the route
of Ola And The Janglers. A former partner of Stu's in Creaturedom,
Kevin Moller, says "I Want More (Lovin')" and by
track's end you'll want more Moller tracks. His rendition
of this Chylds song also presents the best scream of the entire
disc. Skooch of The Brimstones turns on The Music Machine
with a jolly good "Worry." The guitar sound impressively
and faithfully captures that of Mark Landon's deep thick fuzz
notes that punched up many a Music Machine record. And good
ol' Michael Lynch of The Anything People presides over "She'll
Love Again" by The Cascades (yes, the same Cascades of
"Rhythm Of The Rain" fame, but a more rocking effort
for the vocal group than their more popular material.) The
musicians Who-ify the song for maximum Modness.
Besides the fine music performances, what else makes The Royal
Purple an interesting and likeable combo is that the project
is all for fun, simply out of appreciation for the sounds
of the 1960s. No visions of world tours, world fame or even
money: They don't even sell their CDs...anyone who wants one
need only contact them (see contact info below) and ask for
a copy. No charge.
In short, The Royal Purple is no more and no less than two
guys making music simply for the fun of it, loaded with enthusiasm
to share the fruits of their labor. When one considers that
such were the ethics of just about all the best garage rock
of the 1960s, one must conclude Stu and Mike are on a good
road. Let's hope they keep traveling down it and continue
to send us musical postcards.
Join the party. Get medicated. Drop a line to The Royal Purple
at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a free copy of
Also visit www.myspace.com/theroyalpurple
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