THE TOL-PUDDLE MARTYRS - 'PSYCH-OUT USA'
How refreshing to come across an album of original songs celebrating the universal appeal of uncomplicated, infectious pop.
Let's hear it for the Tol-Puddle Martyrs who since their birth in 1966 have steadfastly followed the path laid by British bands of the mid 60's.
Fronted by original singer/keyboardist songwriter Peter Rechter who collaborated on these songs with guitarist Graham McCoy, this quartet of seasoned musicians unashamedly refer to The Kinks with their Ray Davies inspired guitar intro to 'Thinking 'Bout You', The Zombies ('The Window'), George Harrison (his slide guitar sound bobs up on 'Point Of View'). They make a left turn on 'The Better Cause', the kettle drum/electric guitar intro morphing into a reggae beat while on the album's closer the Beatle-esque ballad 'Chapel And Vine' the band tip their hat to 'Strawberry Fields Forever' before a George Martin inspired finale.
This is toe-tapping, melodic, thoroughly enjoyable pop rock, timeless in its appeal.
Billy Pinnell. One of Australia's most respected Rock Historian and Musicologists.
The Tol-Puddle Martyrs “Psych-Out USA” (self-released)
Beverly Paterson “Lance Monthly” April 1 2007: Tol-Puddle Martyrs "Psych-Out USA" (self-released)
“Wrapped tight with choppy keyboard noodlings, infectious melodies and vibrant singing that owes a tip of the cap to both Ray Davies and Elvis Costello, ‘Psych-Out USA’ is a full on masterpiece.”
The Tol-Puddle Martyrs were one of the very best Australian bands of the sixties. From the socially conscious commentaries of cuts such as "Time Will Come" and "Social Cell" to the light and airy pop fare of "Love Your Life," the legendary combo, who acquired loads of regional acclaim, not only boasted a boss sound, but were guided by the disciplined song-craft skills of lead singer and keyboardist Peter Rechter. Although Peter is the lone original member of the recently reformed Tol-Puddle Martyrs, the rest of the band, which includes lead guitarist and vocalist Graham McCoy, bassist Michael Harold and drummer Ian Langford, share the same vision and values responsible for making the group so special all those years ago.
Operating under the twin influences of vintage garage rock and power popping new wave, The Tol-Puddle Martyrs bring these two genres together in a novel yet completely accessible way on "Psych-Out USA." Pronounced by a penetrating riff you won't soon forget, the title track of the album further adds a brooding psychedelic touch to the proceedings. Kicking off to the blistering beat of military styled drumming, "The Better Cause" continues to march on to a hard hitting repertoire of concise instrumentation and high energy action, while "A Long Story Short" follows a similar course with its throbbing patterns and sturdy structures.
Simple but effective, "Thinkin' "Bout You!" shuffles back and forth with chugging chords lifted straight from the early Kinks, and then there's "Into My Life," which nicks the main hook of The New Vaudeville Band's "Winchester Cathedral" and mixes it up in a tasty brew smacking of the sort of arty blues stuff The Rolling Stones were doing during their "Aftermath" and "Between The Buttons" days. Spiky motions get the motor running on "Who's That Knockin'?" before culminating into a stirring swirl of fluid guitar work. Wrapped tight with choppy keyboard noodlings, infectious melodies and vibrant singing that owes a tip of the cap to both Ray Davies and Elvis Costello, "Psych-Out USA" is a full on masterpiece. Optimistic lyrics, coupled with an immediate intimacy are also core assets of The Tol-Puddle Martyrs. The band is currently seeking a record label to distribute "Psych-Out USA," and judging from this great collection of songs, they should have no problem securing a contract.
Beverly Paterson Rock Columnists Lance Monthly/Twist & Shake.
Time seems to have stood still for the Tol-Puddle Martyrs. The who??? you ask. If you didn’t grow up in Australia you might be forgiven if the name doesn’t quite roll off your tongue. Then again, anyone who recalls the psychedelic sounds of the late ‘60s or the groundbreaking Brit pop fronted by the Kinks, the Zombies and various other like-minded icons of that earlier era, will find the Tol-Puddle Martyrs’ music refreshingly familiar. From the opening surge of the title track -- a veritable cosmic flashback that could only have been culled from an album by a band that might bear a name like the Strawberry Alarm Clock -- it’s apparent that the Tol-Puddle Martyrs have seized on some hallucinogenic nostalgia and turned it potent in the present tense. Original keyboard player and vocalist Peter Rechter and guitarist/vocalist Graham McCoy share the writing duties, creating echoes of the band’s seminal mid ‘60s incarnation. The twisting rhythms of “Into My Life” and the Kinks-like riffing of “Thinkin’ ‘Bout You” provide an instant embrace, while the more cosmic meanderings of “The Window” and “A Long Story Short” add a pensive perspective. No matter that the Tol-Puddle Martyrs hail from across the sea; their affable and accessible pop presence speaks to a universal groove.
-- Lee Zimmerman
Miami South Florida/Entertainment News & Views
The Tol-Puddle Martyrs "Psych-Out USA" has been selected at #5 in Blitz Magazines Best New CDs of 2007.
Blitz - The Rock And Roll Magazine For Thinking People
BLITZ’S BEST NEW CDs OF 2007:
1). WHISPERIN' BLUEGRASS - BILL ANDERSON (IDI/MADACY)
2). How You Live - Point Of Grace (Word Entertainment)
3). Live At B.B. King Blues Club - The Yardbirds (Favored Nations)
4). When The Village Was Green - The Highwaymen (Highwaymen)
5). PSYCH-OUT USA - The TOL-PUDDLE MARTYRS (Secret Deals)
6). Cambria Hotel - Peter Tork And Shoe Suede Blues (CD Baby)
7). Jukebox - Randy Bachman And Burton Cummings (Sony/BMG)
8). Here We Are - The Cynics (Get Hip)
9). African Tapestry - Four Jacks And A Jill (J&J)
10). Dirt Farmer - Levon Helm (Dirt Farmer Music)
11). Duets: An American Classic - Tony Bennett (Columbia)
12). High School Musical 2 - Soundtrack (Disney)
13). The Bluegrass Diaries - Jim Lauderdale (Yep Roc)
14). Back To Black - Amy Winehouse (Universal Republic)
15). Hannah Montana 2/Meet Miley Cyrus - Miley Cyrus (Disney)
16). Nonetheless Blue - The Resonars (Get Hip)
17). Moodring - Third Of Never (Jam)
18). Is It Now? - The Doughboys (RAM)
19). Memory Almost Full - Paul McCartney (Hear Music)
20). Jazz Thing II - Randy Bachman And New Guitar Summit (Ranbach)