Monday, July 11, 2011

Markley - A Group (1969)


Repost in Flac

The final West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band album didn't even feature the band's name (although for once all four bandmembers, including Michael Lloyd, were properly credited in the liner notes): Bob Markley had suggested that they change the band's name for this release, and the rest of the group consented, perhaps simply tired of dealing with Markley's legendary egomania. 


Surprisingly, this is actually not a bad record at all (certainly it's better than the last-gasp efforts of the group's former labelmates the Electric Prunes and the Beau Brummels, which came out around the same time), including both some excellent string parts by Lloyd and some of Danny Harris' best vocals. (Brother Shaun Harris appears only on the final track, a superior remake of "Outside/Inside" from 1969's Where's My Daddy?) Musically, the simple, often delicate sound is most akin to the group's first indie album from 1966 (reissued on Sundazed in 1997). The soft-edged arrangements prominently feature Lloyd's keyboards and overdubbed harmonies courtesy of Harris and Lloyd; most of the guitars are acoustic for once. Lyrically, however, Bob Markley seems to be continuing Where's My Daddy?'s creepy themes of paranoia, class resentment (for someone who funded the band through his trust fund, Markley seemed to write an awful lot of songs about wealth redistribution), and, perhaps most tellingly in light of the lyricist's eventual legal troubles, a predilection for underage girls. That blend of musical beauty and lyrical ickiness is, at heart, the true legacy of the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. ~by Stewart Mason 


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