The Maharajas

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The Maharajas' second album is a competent revivalist stew of vintage garage band styles, the 1960s being the main but not exclusive decade of reference. Sometimes it sounds like the Chocolate Watchband with a pinch of post-'60s pop-punk. At other times yet cruder garage bands from the era are echoed, occasionally with riffs that'll remind you of tracks from Pebbles-styled compilations, though never so directly as to seem plagiarized. At least "Dead" mimics the morbid, cheesy organ ballads those bands were sometimes prone to, which isn't the most venerated or imitated facet of ye olde garage days. "Alright!," one of the more convincing songs, goes into the raga-rock explored by bands such as the Gurus (the '60s version, not other groups that have used that name). "Papas Dead" is a little like rockabilly crossed with one of the better (but still obscure) '60s garage band classics, Keith Kessler's "Don't Crowd Me." So it's an eclectic release as these things go, though nothing worth doing handstands over.