? & the Mysterians

Feel It!: The Very Best of Question Mark & the Mysterians

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This set is a retread in a couple of different ways. First, everything here is a re-recording (with the exception of a pair of 1966 demos and a live track from 1998) done in 1997, and all of it was previously released in a two-disc package called More Action by Cavestomp Records in 1999. Feel It! is simply an edited version of that set, with three tracks removed to get it down to single-disc length. That said, ? & the Mysterians are the kind of band where it hardly matters whether it's a re-recording or not, since the group's sound hasn't evolved or changed in forty years, and they still sound like the same prototypical garage band they were in the '60s. Even ?'s biggest hit, "96 Tears," sounds exactly the same here in this revisited version as it did on the original 1966 Cameo Parkway single, which is really pretty amazing given the myriad advancements in recording technology since. ? still sounds rough, ragged and raw, and shows absolutely no interest in cleaning up the Mysterians' sound or advancing one iota up the musical evolutionary ladder. Which is all to the good. So is this a worthy set? Yes, it sounds note for note like the original recordings from the mid-'60s, and no, it's a bit of a bait and switch, since these aren't those recordings. But it hardly matters. When you replace really good cheese with newer really good cheese that tastes exactly like the original really good cheese, does anyone really lose?

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