[7 June 2007]
Amongst the welter of awesome rock and LSD-flavored psychedelic jangling that came out in 1967 one record stood out for all the wrong reasons. The Elastik Band’s Spazz was a brash Beefheart-ian stomp that seemed to openly mock the physically afflicted, prompting gasps of horror all round and consigning them forever to the trash can of music history. Today it still sounds like a gross error of judgement but the people at Digital Cellars are to be commended for showing there was more to the band than this clumsy faux-pas. Though occasionally veering close to Spinal Tap’s “Listen to the Flower People” pastiche there are some gems to be found here. On the catchy baroque pop of “Don’t Say Love” the obvious influences are The Byrds and Arthur Lee’s Love. “The Word is You” seems to presage the dreamy harmonies sound of Crosby, Stills and Nash. It seems like they never really alighted on a sound that was definitively their own and perhaps after Spazz they were not allowed to. However this is an essential purchase for anyone interested in the San Francisco music scene of the late 60s. As well a chance for a band to reclaim a reputation that, where it exists at all, is based solely on THAT song.