For their first 20 years, New York garage-rock masters The Fleshtones changed little, delivering one sweaty, Farfisa-powered power punch after another on classic albums like HEXBREAKER! and SPEED CONNECTION II. Every song has saluted the "Louie Louie"/"Surfin' Bird" ethos of gloriously trashy rock & roll. This makes the twin changeups of 1995's LABORATORY OF SOUND that much more surprising.
Firstly, producer Steve Albini's trademark harsh, trebly sound brings out entirely different parts of The Fleshtones sound, placing Keith Streng's slashing guitar in the front of the mix for the first time. Secondly, the songs focus on a period a good four or five years after the Fleshtones' usual 1963-or-bust sound. Songs like "High on Drugs," "Nostradamus Jr.," and "Psychedelic Swamp," plus a wild cover of Jimi Hendrix's "I Don't Live Today," recall the heyday of the Chocolate Watchband and the Electric Prunes. Fans of the NUGGETS collections will love this.