Form the Habit

Zakary Thaks

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Form the Habit Review

by Richie Unterberger

Both sides of all six of Zakary Thaks' singles are on this last-word compilation, along with three instrumental versions of tracks from the 45s. All of this material has been reissued before on Eva's J-Beck Story 2, with the exception of instrumental versions of "Face to Face" and "Green Crystal Ties." Still, this marks the first time everything's been available in this fidelity in the U.S., bolstered by the inclusion of a lengthy interview with lead singer Chris Gerniottis in the liner notes. It takes its place as one of the very best single-artist '60s garage reissues, the songwriting and musicianship at a far higher level than most '60s garage bands could boast, with just as much insouciant youthful energy. From the punk of "Bad Girl" and the mind-blowing fuzz guitar of "Face to Face" to the Beatlesque pop of "Please," the folk-rock/pop of "Mirror of Yesterday," and the San Francisco-like psychedelia of their final releases (at times even sounding like early Moby Grape), it's all good-to-great stuff. Note, however, that different mixes are used than were heard on some of the original singles, which is particularly noticeable on "Mirror of Yesterday" (where the high mariachi horn parts in the break have been erased) and "Please" (which adds some poppy backup vocals to the bridge).

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