Wednesday, October 9, 2013


There are so many cool things about Christopher and the Souls' "Damonds, Rats and Gum", I don't know where to start. First thing you'll notice is the fuzz. It's constant. Get used to it, the same couple riffs, over and over. But a lot of records have that. I suggest you check the drums. Without the cymbals during the verses, it's a pretty mean thud. Like the Monks. It is fucking Monk Time in the den. And about the vocals, the delivery is perfect. A-1 "I don't give a shit", teenage style, without the hoodlum vibe of the older kids. And how about those lyrics, holy jeez. "I'll give you rats and five pieces of gum and then you'll know I'm not a bum." 

The story of this record is pretty remarkable in itself. The band played mostly covers, and had never record anything. Enter the older brother of the former bass player. He fancied himself a songwriter, so he wrote lyrics for two songs, and wrangled the band's guitarist to write tunes around them. The band practiced them for a couple weeks, with designs on recording them. When it did come time to record, Mr; Songwriter himself, not a singer or a band member, sang. I think you'll agree he did a stand up job. He really doesn't give a shit. He's teenage.

The whole story of the band, and their recordings, is at 1960's Garage Bands, and there;'s a longer piece at Garage Hangover, both good reads. One thing to note: the fidelity on the recordings isn't the greatest, but, really, to fuck with them would change the whole wood paneled dynamic, wouldn't it?

Christopher and the Souls - Diamonds, Rats and Gum mp3 at Internet Archive
Christopher and the Souls - Diamonds, Rats and Gum (streaming) at YouTube Slightly better sound
Christopher and the Souls - Broken Hearted Lady at 1960s Garage Bands Go there to get it
Christopher and the Souls at 1960s Garage Bands
Christopher and the Souls at Garage Hangover 

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