Pretty Things - Balboa Island (Zoho Music)
Catalog no: ZM 200708

From Aural Innovations #38 (Jan 2008)

As many of you most likely know about the connection between the Rolling Stones and the Pretty Things, guitarist Dick Taylor was the Stones bassist a little while and left Mick Jagger and crew before the Stones put out their first record. The rest as they say is history. I thought ' Balboa Island' was better than their 1999 comeback 'Rage...Before Beauty' effort. I listened to this disc several times before reviewing it. Wanted to make sure it was every bit as good as I thought it was the very first time I played it. About every track here has something to fully offer the old school (or even) any new fans that might want to check this title out. First off, I was amazed at the three cuts on this CD that truly possessed the energy, enthusiasm, spirit and heart the band had on their first couple of records like "The Beat Goes On", "Pretty Beat" and the hippie-like "All Light Up". Other good tunes are the bluesy "Living In My Skin", the eight-minute "(Blues For) Robert Johnson", as big time blues fans will really enjoy this tribute, "Buried Alive" which features nice harmony vocals and good guitar riffs, their decent cover of Bob Dylan's "Ballad Of Hollis Brown" and "Feel Like Going Home" which sort of reminded me of the Stones or maybe Ten Years After. Wanted to also mention the acoustically done title track "Balboa Island" added a somewhat memorable ending to this piece of work. It's hard for me to believe this British psychedelic / blues band has been making music since 1965. They've taken a few years off now and again but still - to be able to put together such a worthy release like this, plus with at least four original members. Now that's an achievement. Line-up: Phil May - vocals, Dick Taylor - lead guitar & banjo, Wally Waller - bass & vocals, Jon Povey - keyboards, harp & vocals, Frank Holland - acoustic and lead guitar & vocals and Skip Allan - drums. Very good, do yourself a favor and listen to sound clips where they're provided.

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Reviewed by Mike Reed

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