Ro-d-y-s

Earnest Vocation

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    7
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In the late 1960s, the Ro-d-ys -- like bands in Holland, and pretty much everywhere -- were expanding from their British Invasion-spurred origins into more adventurous, diverse sounds. Still, lead singer Harry Rijnbergen continued to resemble a less original Ray Davies, both in his songwriting and his vocals. On this, their second and final LP, the group explores a variety of directions common to the period with reasonable competence and slight eccentricity. "Love Is Almost Everywhere" has quite a European melancholy to its orchestral gloom, but the group can still rock out like the late-'60s Kinks at their most forceful on songs like "Robinetta" and "Let It Be Tomorrow," though with odder tempo changes and more obscure lyrics than the Kinks used. A few other tracks use late-period British freakbeat touches like the phasing and Who-ish drumming and harmonies in "Easy Come, Easy Go," while "Everytime a Second" gets into the music hall-ish jauntiness some British bands (not just the Kinks) were prone to lapse into at the time. Overall this is worth hearing for intense '60s rock fans who don't mind trying to shake the feeling that they're hearing Ray Davies as if he's singing and writing in English as a second language, with periodic overlays of oddly melodramatic and even slightly goofy orchestration. Non-specialists might find there's not enough arresting material to justify the effort, however.