Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Max Frost and The Troopers - Shape of Things to Come

Max Frost and The Troopers were the fictional rock band from the early psychsploitation picture "Wild in the Streets."  There is some mystery regarding exactly who play on this album, as the members were credited to match characters in the movie, but it is widely believed to be the work of pioneering psych/surf band Davie Allan and the Arrows with lyrics and vocals provided by Paul Wibier (of biker movie soundtrack fame).  The title cut will be instantly recognizable to fans of the Nuggets series, and the other songs generally follow that formula: three minute snatches of psychedelia-infused garage pop with soaring harmonies and concise structure.  There's actually quite a bit of variation among the songs, though - one can feel Wibier playing around with various styles and ideas, perhaps assuming that the album was more of a novelty than a genuine artistic endeavor.  This seems to be his approach in general, now that I think about it, but it's not without merit: sometimes studio musicians and professional songwriters, liberated from the need to write actual hits, can come up with some soulful, mind-expanding stuff.  

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