gullbuy music review

The Embrooks


45s & High Times




The Embrooks CD coverThe Embrooks 2 cd compilation 45s & High Times on Munster Records out of Spain combines together early singles released on the Dig The Fuzz, Sympathy For The Record Industry, Guerssen Records, Circle Records and Max Picou labels, along with various tracks from samplers, along with a second disc of live and radio sessions (some recorded at WFMU).

The Embrooks are best when they recorded at Toe Rag studios, so the Guerssen and Max Picou singles contain their best music where they also show the most garage rock potential on If You Let Me Go, Keep It Quiet, More Than Ever, and You Can Be My Baby - all recorded at the awesome Toe Rag. These songs all have that Headcoats type sound, with a bit more harmonies.

The earlier singles on Dig the Fuzz and Sympathy For The Record Industry are more jangly 4-track sounding, while for the most part the later tracks on disc one are more rocking (and not totally my taste). No No No No (a cover of The Sorrows song) is an exception to the 4-track sound earlier and is a superfine track. It's still a bit muffled, but has a nice crunchy guitar sound.

Their cover of the The Barrier's Dawn Breaks Through (a Toe Rag recording) is also pretty nice. It has a driving beat, nice harmonies and doesn't noodle too much.

The first disc wraps up with their cover of the Gary Walker & the Rain song Francis, which also was a favorite of mine. There's an epic quality to the lead guitars, and the song choice is impeccable, with this fine slice of late 60s British psychedelia (Gary Walker being from The Walker Brothers, aka Gary Leeds).

Disc 2 consists of a live radio session at WFMU and a live recording in Spain, and since the sound quality is not so great, this disc is really for Embrook completists.

---Patrick, February 15, 2006