A very valuable release here from The Fresh & Onlys, compiling together top-notch early material. The Early Years Anthology is bursting at the seams with Bay Area DIY garage-punk fun, and is released with the assistance of John Dwyer (Thee Oh Sees) on his very own Castle Face label. Out on LP or CD.
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On their never-ending journey to release as many albums as their are years before the sun explodes, The Fresh & Onlys encountered a side-quest and decided to also release some old music. Mr. Oh Sees’ Castle Face label offers up the literal tome ‘Early Years Anthology’, which offers songs from way back when -- though, in true form, the band had already experienced a couple of lineup changes in the rhythm department, proving once again that the Fresh & Onlys never began and will never end; they just are.
Epic platitudes aside, this is business as usual, just from the past: garage rock with all the usual nuggets, be they the silly bassline of “Don’t Look Down” or the old-school psych garage operations of “Summer Wheels”, a track I’d half expect to hear at the end of a particularly good Sound of the Sixties episode -- the harmonica is the clincher. Personally, I’m a sucker for the tracks where they try to encompass everything on their mind, agonising between the best guitar riff, the sunniest harmonies and the slickest beats;what I’m trying to say is that “Deviants Within” is the best cut from these oldie selections, suggesting a band who had absorbed a lot of differently minded pop music and assumed it could all work together.
Fresh & Onlys fans will get what they want here: the world keeps spinning in twee technicolour, the band’s garage rawk the same as it ever was/will be. Listen in, wait for a good keyboard melody, enjoy those moments when life is as pleasant as an old-school radio station.
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