By Jason Barnard
A bundle of aural treats from Fruits de Mer have been imbibed recently here at Strange Brew HQ for release in August. All of which come highly recommended.
The first EP out shortly is the very welcome return of California’s Sidewalk Society. What a great idea for the band to do four covers, two early Bowie and nice pair from The Action’s lost masterpiece Rolled Gold. Taking such great source material always promised to deliver! Sidewalk Society kick off with in incendiary version of David’s mod anthem ‘Can’t Help Thinking About Me’, quickly following up with The Action’s ‘Look At The View’. It’s great to hear this track afresh with full production, seamlessly meshing mod and psychedelia.
Sidewalk Society then give a outstanding band performance on David’s early gem, ‘Let Me Sleep Beside You’. To finish is another barnstormer, The Action’s masterpiece ‘Strange Roads’. The group stick fairly closely to the template on this one and rightly so. How can you improve perfection?
In summary, Sidewalk Society’s Bowie-Action release is the best Fruits de Mer covers EP since Vibravoid ‘s legendary ‘What Colour Is Pink?’ release.
And speak of the devil! On another slab of vinyl we hear Vibravoid’s monster 15 version of Iron Butterfly’s ‘In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida’. It’s split across two sides of a new coloured 7 inch and starts by mirroring the psych cornerstone. However Vibravoid then fly off into hypnotic percussion and prog before journeying back to the source. See them and a host of other talents at the 14th Dream of Dr.Sardonicus Festival in Wales, 5-7 August.
In true Fruits de Mer fashion, we also have the imminent release of the marvellously bonkers ‘The Fruits de Mer Records Guide to The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’. Don’t Panic! Astralasia, Icarus Peel and Blue Giant Zeta Puppies all bring their own unique space-rock interpretation to The Eagles’ definitive theme.
At the 14th Dream of Dr.Sardonicus festival, revellers will be presented with a multitude of free goodies although it’s worth highlighting the three lathe-cut singles that will be exclusively sold there.
All sets of original material, my fave is Aethereal’s ‘Walking Away’, a new take on The Electric Prunes style adding their own vision into the mix. The Sons Of MOD’s ‘LoveByrds (A Ballad for Malachi)’ takes a more anglophile approach to 60s psych and no less successful.
Next to the pairing of The Insektlife Cycle and Cold Bath. Hailing from The Phillipines, The Insektlife Cycle’s ‘Schizodelia’ brings a David Watts guitar refrain to English 70s prog. The other instrumental is Cold Bath’s Dune. This Swiss band execute light and dark shades that Echoes the spirit of Meddle.
The final lathe cut single is another fine pairing. The Gold Needles give us gentle the acoustic folk with ‘First Sunrise’, whilst The Cats Never Slip’s heavy anthem ‘Vishnou’ teases the ears.
More information available at fruitsdemerrecords.com