The Trashmen

Bird Call!: The Twin City Stomp of the Trashmen

  • AllMusic Rating
    6
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Over half of this collector's four-CD box set is previously unissued studio, demo, rehearsal, or live recordings. Nothing is duplicated in this material originally recorded from 1961-1967. The Trashmen are an amazing summary of contradictions when looked at from afar. In pictures, even live ones, they are four clean-cut chaps in suits. Their nationwide 1963 hit "Bird," the 1965 version of which is included here, is a deliriously silly, primitively noisy, and utterly infectious gem. It's like playing a Black Sabbath album and showing pictures of the Bee Gees and trying to get someone to believe they are one and the same. The Trashmen's arrangements are two guitars of clarion twang and garage crunch with harmony with lead vocals often moving from one member to another. While some of their covers are saccharine (for example, Buddy Holly's "Tell Me How"), they offer such glorious trash rock as the cartoonish analysis of Bo Diddley's signature sound in "Bird Diddley Beat." The Trashmen tap straight into a democratic and transforming American spirit that celebrates the Universal Goof, a sort of holy fool spreading pure joy through music. There you have the entertainment recipe of the Trashmen: surf, doo-wop, blues, and rock & roll motifs swirled together for either devastating hilarity or smooth, slow dancing ballads.

blue highlight denotes track pick