The Gremlins

The Coming Generation: The Complete Recordings 1965-68

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All 19 songs from the Gremlins' 1965-68 singles are on Coming Generation: The Complete Recordings 1965-1968, along with all four tracks from a 1966 EP. It's the work of a pleasant, very accomplished band, albeit one that, like many outfits from New Zealand and Australia, were emulating various British and American trends of the era more than they were forging a path of their own. Nonetheless, it does have a leg up on the '60s output of many other bands from their part of their world in featuring largely original material (mostly written by singer-guitarist Glyn "Conway" Tucker), rather than faithful covers of songs originating in other countries. There's effects-laden pop-psychedelia ("Blast Off 1970"), decent Merseybeat-soaked pseudo-British Invasion sounds ("I Can't Say," "But She's Gone," "It's Easy to Say"), chunky mod rock ("Never You Mind"), sullen folk-rock ("A Man's Gotta Be a Man," "Understand Our Age"), observational pop in the spirit of the mid-'60s Kinks and early Bee Gees, and even a Troggs imitation ("You Gotta Believe It"). For all that, the best song is their big 1966 New Zealand hit "The Coming Generation," a cover of an obscure Knickerbockers song that was actually an improvement on the original. Lengthy liner notes with many quotes from Tucker also help make this a definitive retrospective of this obscure (at least to non-New Zealanders) band.

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