Group $oall

By My Side

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On this eight-song 10" LP reissue are found all the recordings by this obscure Dutch group. The four tracks on side one, recorded in May 1967, appeared on their EP (their sole release); the four on side two, including alternate versions of a couple of songs on the EP ("Will You Teach Me How to Love" and "Adation"), were recorded in February 1967 but unreleased at the time. To those not steeped in the world of Dutch beat, these will sound like weird fractured mutations of mid-'60s British rock, with awkward irregular rhythms, pensive and strangely phrased vocals, and rudimentary melodies. To those already well versed in 1960s Dutch rock -- which will, presumably, include many if not most of those who buy this 700-copy limited-edition reissue -- it's pretty much business as usual for the world of nederbiet, though Group $oall were even cruder and more naïve in their approach than many equally obscure peers in their native land. Hats off to guys who were obviously singing from the heart without slicking up for commercial consumption, but this isn't such an exceptional find within the Eurobeat genre. The melodies have the folk-garage anguish typical of many bands from the region, but the songs sound underdeveloped, and the recordings were under-produced, the guitars sometimes coming across with all the force of a twanging rubber band.