Album: "Groovy Neighborhood"
Genre: Alternative Rock
Reviewer: Max Burbank
Review: 1978's “Groovy Neighborhood” would be a good album if all it had to offer were its gimmick, the fact that all of the instruments used are toys. What makes it a great album is the fact that if it had been played on real instruments, it would still be a good album. The songs, both covers and originals are catchy, poppy, infectious stick in your head stuff and would be without the added charm and unique sound that only a teeny weeny little Toys R’ Us piano is going to give you.
When I first set out to review this album, Sadly the only one the band ever made, would be long out of print, but I guess I’m not the only one who never could get it out of their head. Francis Ford Coppola liked it enough to put it in his third of the relatively obscure film “New York Stories”, maybe that’s enough to keep it in circulation.
The stand out cut has to be their cover of the Chuck Berry classic “Memphis”. It rocks so hard I think they must have gone through at least one set of the Muppet Babies Drum asset they were using. “Thrift Shoppin” and “Bubble Gum Music” music are the kind of simple, happy songs that make even grouchy old bastard like me smile, and something about the instruments being all toys takes away any snobbery one might feel about what could otherwise be a guilty pleasure.
They’d finished a second album, “Back To School” but the rumor is that band leader Alex Garvin went Syd Barrett and it’s never been released. That seems like a mini-tragedy to me, considering that their one album has had such staying power.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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