The Litter's Emerge combines the sound of the Amboy Dukes with Blue Cheer while vocalist Mark Gallagher at times does his best to imitate Jack Bruce adding Cream to the band's list of textures. Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "Little Red Book" gets torn apart in the translation and is lots of fun. Lead guitarist Ray Melina takes the band to the world of British rock with his "Breakfast at Gardenson's," the light feeling here a total about-face, a transition that complements the huge sound on most of the record.
Opening track "Journeys" is that Brit rock flair and West Coast vocal sound meeting the Amboy Dukes. This has all been heard and done before, but the Litter emulate so well that their concoction is actually quite inviting. "Silly People" is the rock band toying with jazz and blues, light years away from the garage, but working on a level that eluded the Blues Magoos and Lovecraft when those ensembles strayed too far from their origins. The Jack Bruce inspiration comes in loud and clear here, not only in the voice but in what the band is doing. The tunes are mostly in the two- to three-and-a-half-minute range with only the Iron Butterfly-ish "Future of the Past" clocking in at 12-minutes-plus ending side two and an over-five-minute rendition of Stephen Stills' "For What It's Worth" closing out the first side. The band's own "Blue Ice" works better than the cover of Buffalo Springfield and, face it, that 1967 protest song was unique and difficult to re-interpret. The Litter actually do a great job of walking on this sacred ground till they give it a half-time Ramones/the Dickies jolt years before that concept would come in to vogue. The attempt goes only halfway but is interesting. The album cover uses a negative photo pastiche and they've got the Blue Cheer image down pat. Bassist J. Worthington Kane does a fine job of producing his group studying their heroes and getting an A on the exam. It's just too bad a Terry Knight or Colonel Tom Parker wasn't around these parts to bring this to the masses. [The One Way CD version contains a ninth track, "On Our Minds."]