The Milkshakes' singer/guitarist Micky Hampshire is riding high with The Masonics, 12 years after their self-titled debut, as evidenced by their more recent Down Among the Dead Men (1998) on Sympathy For The Record Industry and Turns On You (2001). This recording, from London's Tufnel Park Boston Arms two years ago, catches them as the beast should be: raw and live. The recording quality is serviceable, making the trio sound just like what they would have been if they were just a few years younger and their hair was slightly grayer: a sweaty beat group playing at the Crawdaddy or the Marquee with the Yardbirds or the Pretty Things. Whether turning out a power-waltz right out of the Animals like "Good or Bad" or "The Cutter" or the furious 1963 Beatles/Hollies merseybeat craze of "Going Down Fast," this connects, with the booming bass line and Hampshire's renowned singing, sounding as hot and bothered as he ever has. (Funny version of "One Night of Sin: - less the Elvis Presly version and more the Fats Domino one - and a crankin' one of Lee Dorsey's "Ride Your Pony," too) Most '60's R & B retro groups are pretty silly, but these guys sound like they worshiped at the feet of original Chess label Chicago bluesmen every bit as much as the British Invasion stars that took this template further.
(Jack Rabid, The Big Takeover #53)

 
 
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