[13 September 2009]
For the first minute or so of “The Glass Castle”, you could be forgiven for thinking Sir Lord Von Raven is another indie weird-sounds-and-caterwauling band, but thankfully after that minute, the guitar and the rhythm section kick in, and Eric Von Raven starts sounding more like an adenoidal Mick Jagger and less like a hippie, and the band’s real psych/garage sound is made gloriously clear. Although Sir Lord Von Raven is not as frantic (or as funny) as a band like King Khan & His Shrines, the band hits a similar sweet spot in terms of not only emulating the bygone music it loves but the attitude that goes with it. An actual chestnut like Fats Domino’s “I’m Ready” fits in nicely with the original songs, and it’d be easy to believe the likes of “The Darling of the Jukebox” and “What’s a Boy to Do?” were similarly aged gems. Whereas most of the current garage acts getting attention (like King Khan) focus on the trashier, often more obscure end of the spectrum, Sir Lord Von Raven’s sound is more in keeping with classic forebears ranging from the Rolling Stones to the New York Dolls to, well, most of Nuggets. By the time “Georgy Boy” asks in mocking (and period) fashion, “Are you a boy or are you a little girl?” it’s clear this is a band determined to marry its songwriting prowess with the kind of snottiness and playful spite that is too all-encompassing to be offensive. The band is at its best on songs like “Georgy Boy” and the caustic roar of “Spit on Your Grave”, but overall, Please Throw Me Back in the Ocean makes for a satisfying 42 minutes for anyone who wants to be reminded of why rock and roll is more of a bad attitude than a sound.