The Silverbeats (Black)
“The first time I saw the SilverBeats… the band took the cramped stage at the window near the front door. Fronted by James Tessier, who appeared to be the missing link between The Standells, the band’s sound was simple, fuzzy and perfect. These cats were no strangers to reverb. Tess’ original compositions came to life with electrical transmissions from Dan Mullen’s lead guitar. The primal garage rock sound of ‘Over and Over’ was balanced by Tess’ soft-spoken vocals. ‘You Did Here Wrong’ could have been plucked from any top shelf album of lost nuggets. ‘In the Sound Room’ points to endless possibilities of mind expansion. This is the good stuff. LSD before it was cut with strychnine. — Blaine Schultz
First reissue of rare cassette-only underground neo-psychedelic punk steeped in Pebbles-era rock, from this Milwaukee band which featured Dan Mullin (Plasticland) on guitar and the talents — songwriting and otherwise — of iconic underground maven Tess (James Tessier). ‘I Want Speed’ shows The SilverBeats’ affinity to West Coast psychedelia. And it’s no coincidence that they cover the Human Expression’s ‘Calm Me Down,’ rich with harmony vocal, and The Pretty Things’ ‘Midnight to Six (Man),’ replacing the original’s rough R ‘n’ B-edge with a slight psychedelic tinge — a real showpiece for drummer Mike Hughes. Another killer is ‘Over And Over,’ penned by Tess (like all the other originals on this album). It layers beautiful, trippy guitar, a catchy vocal melody, lots of echo, strange effects, and weird sounds before it closes, and we move on to the jolly, jumping ‘Love Comes Knockin.’ Comes with an 8-page booklet featuring a description by journalist David Luhrssen of the Milwaukee underground music scene which produced Plasticland, Daszu, the band Ör, and the Violent Femmes, among others.