Friday, January 20, 2017

Randy Holden - 1997 - Early Works '64-'66 The Fender IV & Sons Of Adam

Randy Holden 
Early Works '64-'66 The Fender IV & Sons Of Adam

01. The Sons of Adam - Take My Hand
02. The Sons of Adam - Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day
03. The Sons of Adam - Saturday's Son
04. The Sons of Adam - Mr. You're a Better Man Than I
05. The Sons of Adam - Without Love
06. The Sons of Adam - I Told You Once Before
07. The Sons of Adam - You Make Me Feel Good
08. The Fender IV - Mar Gaya
09. The Fender IV - You Better Tell Me Now
10. The Fender IV - Malibu Run
11. The Fender IV - Everybody Up
12. The Fender IV - Highway Surfer
13. The Fender IV - Little One

Bass – Mike Port
Drums – Bruce Miller (tracks: 8 to 13)
Drums, Vocals – Michael Stuart (tracks: 1 to 7)
Lead Guitar – Randy Holden
Rhythm Guitar – Joe Kooken
Vocals – Joe Kooken (tracks: 1 to 7), Mike Port (tracks: 1 to 7), Randy Holden (tracks: 1 to 7)

Pennsylvanian Randy Holden had a vision for taking the guitar into unexplored vistas at an early age. After a brief stint playing covers locally, he formed the Fender IV, a surf-cum-British Invasion-inspired combo that became mainly a showcase for Holden’s six-string pyrotechnics. After having his head turned Over, Under, Sideways Down by the then-godly Yardbirds, or more specifically, their Riff Master General, Jeff Beck, the IV/Holden made their way to the West Coast reborn as the Sons of Adam.

This collection compiles tracks from both of ‘em in reverse chronological order (Whatcha expect? It’s a Japanese import). The Sons were a band that, if you’d heard one of their ditties on a “Nuggets” or “Back From the Grave” comp, would have ya jacking off like an ape in a zoo cage to hear more. Look no further. Although essentially Yardbirds-lite, there’s some fine snot-caked garage punk like the Holden-penned “I Told You Once Before” as well as more melodic moments like a killer run through the Zombies’ “You Make Me Feel Good.” The Fender IV, although steeped in stock surf arrangements, had a certain intangible darkness about their sound that puts ‘em ahead of the many bands mining the same territory in the era. Especially delish is the lone vocal number, “You Better Tell Me Now” that throbs with an ultra-macho, barely concealed violence.

A nifty compilation of most of the rare mid-'60s singles that Holden played on before joining the Other Half. The two 1966 singles by Sons of Adam are solid psych-pop-punk, particularly the scorching "Saturday's Son." Those four tracks are joined by three previously unreleased Sons of Adam cuts that show an unexpected Zombies/Beau Brummels influence. The remaining six selections are by the Fender IV, including both of their Imperial singles and a couple of previously unreleased items. It's solid surf music, highlighted by Holden's stellar wall-of-staccato reverb on "Mar Gaya" (also available on Rhino's Legends of Guitar: Surf, Vol. 1) and the propulsive (vocal) surf-Merseybeat hybrid "You Better Tell Me Now." If only it had the third and last Sons of Adam single, this would be a complete retrospective of Holden's pre-Other Half output; unfortunately, that third Sons of Adam single ("Feathered Fish"/"Baby Show the World") was the group's best, so its omission is significant. (It is available on a hard-to-find EP on Moxie that has all three Sons of Adam 45s.) Incidentally, unlike many such import compilations of impossibly obscure '60s music, this is personally authorized by the artist himself.

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