Rarities / Riot on Sunset Strip (67) - Big Beat 1993
The fact that the group was unsure of direction also comes out pretty clearly on this release. There is no doubt that the group was strongest in the raw and punk expression, when their tight playing and melodic approach to the material created some of the best early punk / garage music. Here this is documneted with the title track to "Riot on Sunset Strip" and "Try it". Both numbers can be found on the group's last album "Try it" from 1967. Also, the group's two original rock ballads "I Hate two Leave You" and "The Boy Who is Lost" show the band from their strongest side; strange that these two tracks did not find their way to any of the original albums. Also the track "Our Candidate" which was given to the group by Paul Revere and the Raiders, suits the band fine.
The more garnered "Schoolgirl" and "It's All in Your Mind" seem more bland without being really weak. The same can be said of organist Larry Tamlyn's "Looking to Tomorrow".
"Love Me", which was written by guitarist Tony Valentino and drummer Dick Dodd, seems a little unfinished and does not come out particularly interesting. The group recorded a version of "Batman", no wonder, who didnít do this those years - nothing new in Standellsí version, though."Try It" has an alternative vocal, which is funny, but the original version is clearly the strongest. "Rari" is an extended version that feels aminute or two too long.
Besides title track Standells contribute to the soundtrack "Riot on Sunset Strip" with "Get Away From Here" - a nice number that does not seem as if it has reached beyond the demo stage, though.
The Chocolate Watch Band, who were another of the most interesting garage bands from this time, give a very Stones inspired 'Do not Need Your Lovin' "and" Sitting Here Understanding ", which sounds a lot like Yardbird's" The Nazz Are Blue "with new lyrics.
All in all an interesting release for fans of early American Garage Rock .