I want to like everything The Fleshtones do. They are, after all, the Godfathers of modern Garage Rock.
So it pains me to report that the ‘tones new album, Beachhead, is mediocre at best. The songs are formulaic, the performance uninspired. After 30 years of pounding out the beat, maybe the guys are just spent.
We are talking men in their ’50s taking on the task of high-energy pop/rock, after all.
I last saw The Fleshtones live two years ago, and although their ages were showing, they still had it. They had, in fact, the best show exit I’ve ever seen. Armed with wireless gear, Peter Zaremba, guitarist Keith Streng and their bass player headed into the crowd. Drummer Bill Millhizer picked up his floor tom and followed. They made their way through the crowd and out the front door, crossed the street, got into a car and drove off – playing and singing the whole time until they were out of wireless range. Classic.
So if The Flestones come to a seedy rock club in your town, go see them. But if you want to experience their true glory, pick up their “Living Legend Series” CD and check out classics like “Cold, Cold, Shoes”, “Shadow Line” and “Right Side of a Good Thing.”