- The Fleshtones
So much for the garage-revival-revival. Or maybe we need more hyphens, considering that, before the White Stripes, the Makers debuted in '94, Billy Childish came on the scene in the late '80s, and N.Y.C.'s Fleshtones formed -- along with the earth's crust -- way back in 1976. After all these revolutions of the pop-culture wheel, the formula is getting flat. Who among the current class (including Jack and Meg themselves) is actually having any fun? For God's sake, these records don't sound like a party to anyone but members of the Society for Creative Anachronism.
On the other hand, while the Fleshtones aren't so gimmicky as to put crowd noises behind their latest, Do You Swing, you'll swear there are glasses clinking and feet stomping in there somewhere. From the just-add-water classic "Destination Greenpoint" (the only surf-rocker ever written about gentrification) to a nutty, Kinksy cover of "Communication Breakdown," the album's 13 tracks are the kind of breezy summertime ragers to which even the shyest people dance and sweat and howl. Riffs that would be soggy in less spirited hands than those of guitarist Keith Streng go off like Roman candles, guided by the genuine groove of rhythmists Bill Milhizer and Ken Fox, and topped by the beer-cooled shouting and happy organ-playing of Peter Zaremba. Whew! These guys know how to revive a revival.