Long before Derek (nee Deke) Dickerson became a virtuosic twangy roots music figure (in such outfits as the Dave & Deke Combo and on various roots and rockabilly country solo records), he was the musical force behind the unabashed frat rock revivalist quartet the Untamed Youth. Some Kinda Fun, the Untamed Youth's debut LP, is a note-perfect time-travel machine to the days between the reign of surf and psychedelia (which makes sort of revisionist history sense when you consider that the Untamed Youth came from Missouri). Drenched in reverb and riding along on a tide of Farfisa organ and Pabst Blue Ribbon, the Untamed Youth reveled in the simple pleasures of girls 'n' hot rods (granted, not the most inventive ground) with a fidelity to the spirit and letter of the source material some 25 years down the line that, even if you can't get next to the retro factor, is admirable. Of course, NYC's Norton Records label specializes in just this kind of atavistic pleasure and the Untamed Youth were the prize young 'uns among Norton's stable of wild and wacky, thankfully not forgotten recording artists such as Hasil Adkins, King Usneiwicz, and the Flat Duo Jets. With Some Kinda Fun you get the whole package -- from liner notes by "Bugger Waller" of "K-ROD Radio" to photos of the boys hanging out, Nuggets-style, in repose next to a hearse next to a barn in Middle America. But all this clever packaging would just be pretentious if the music wasn't so darned hot. Dickerson rides the reverb, expertly picking his twangy way around the aforementioned Farfisa, both of which ride over Steve Mace's bouncing, boundlessly energetic basslines and F. Clarke Marty's fill-happy surf and stomp beat parade. Better still -- and unlike many retro-obsessed groups of beer-loving young men parading around the garage rock circuit -- you believe Dickerson when he says "I wanna girl and a hot rod" or when he extols the virtues of his "antique '32 Studebaker hearse." From surf to turf, the Untamed Youth take a trip down a musical memory lane by refusing to believe that the past is gone and things aren't so simple. And for 31 minutes and 43 seconds you believe 'em.
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