Although you'd be hard-pressed to discern their heritage, the Flames (they'd soon drop the "s" to avoid confusion with James Brown's backup band) emerged out of the rich South African/Malaysian pop scene as a superb cover combo. They even scored a number one with an update of the Impressions' R&B classic "For Your Precious Love." It wasn't until after the quartet -- consisting of siblings Edries "Brother" Fataar (bass/vocals), Rutle-in-waiting Ricky Fataar (drums/vocals), and Steve Fataar (guitar/vocals), as well as Blondie Chaplin (guitar/vocals) -- had moved to England and were gigging around London that Al Jardine convinced fellow Beach Boys co-founder Carl Wilson to sign the Flame to the Beach Boys' Brother Records label. The eponymously monikered platter would become their best-known thanks to Ricky and Chaplin's association as part-time members of the Beach Boys circa the mid-'70s. During the drawn out legal and political processes that would allow them to earn a living Stateside, the Flamecollaborated with Wilson (producer) and Beach Boys' engineer of choice Steve Desper to craft this ten-song collection, which reflected the overwhelming similarities and obvious inspiration to the Beatles' post Rubber Soul (1965) period. Particularly, Lennon and McCartney's progressive and keenly developed compositional style, which surfaces here as a running motif throughout the whole work. The rockers range from the effervescent "See the Light" -- which is reprised at the conclusion of the effort in a slower, slinkier, and definitely funkier interpretation -- to the edgier "Make It Easy," "Get Your Mind Made Up," and ominous "Hey Lord." Conversely, they ably pull off the lolloping and lovely "Lady" -- which is a gentle send-up of cowboy westerns -- while "Don't Worry, Bill" is equal measures of Fab Four and fellow power pop revivalists Big Star. When Chaplin and Ricky Fataar briefly joined the Beach Boys early-'70s touring company, the selection was offered coupled with the SMiLE (1967) track "Wonderful" as "Wonderful/Don't Worry Bill." A version of said can be found on the Beach Boys' Endless Harmony (1998) anthology. Other sides worthy of note include the languid "Highs and Lows" and the powerfully anthemic "Another Day Like Heaven." In 2006 Fallout Records issued a "needle drop" CD incarnation of The Flame. While better than nothing at all, it is a poor substitution for the proper remastering that the platter most certainly deserves.