maandag 28 augustus 2017

Greener Than The Other Side. The Black Marble Selection

It's some years ago that I saw The Black Marble Selection playing the support act for The Kik in Haarlem. "The blood show" of The Kik and the resulting fainting and all. So many years ago that there's a new album by the band and things are not the same.

The rough voiced singer and the harmonica have gone missing making room for an even more authentic 60s sound. Everything from The Outsiders to West Coast lightweight psychedelia comes by. Think Love without the ounce of craziness. Think 'Eight Miles High' without the space cake.

I'm not complaining. The Black Marble Selection mach 1 was overdoing it as far as I'm concerned. A bit too much of what could have been a good thing. Q65 without a truly outstanding song, What was left was a lot of testosterone. Now things have flattened out perhaps, but melodies are allowed in and I'm on a plane.

On Greener Than The Other Side, someone must be content it seems, The Black Marble Selection is able to show its softer and more melodic side. From the get go, 'The Primrose Path', there's a Hammond, in the solo a nice, rough-sounding guitar takes over the solo from the Hammond, kicking the song in the butt, hard, before things are evened over again. The typical 60s slightly affected singing is in the right place. The harmonies cooler than cool. With this song the R&B of Q65 and The Outsiders is replaced with the pop of Golden Earrings and The Motions. Not unlike what The Stangs are playing also.

The right elements come by like a flute to give the sound that little extra authenticity. Who used a flute in pop after circa 1970 except Berdien Stenberg? Right, no one. Except in recreations of that lustrous pop era. 'Window Of Opportunity' starts with a The Hollies like guitar intro, but slowly but surely little psychedelic elements are woven into the song, that changes its character fasts. 'Monkey On My Back' kicks in hard here and there. What I truly appreciate is that this song holds its own with ease. References yes, but that is where it stops and this band enters.

If these were the songs The Black Marble Selection was working on I can understand that former singer Jean-Paul lost interests. There's no room for his voice here. These songs are dreamy, somewhat trippy and much softer than the first album. Which had one person drawing all the attention towards himself. Now there's a band.

So in short, yes, the album goes on in this vein in a most pleasurable way, another 60s inspired set from The Netherlands that is above average. Still, I can't help musing why these lads play music that their grandparents tripped on half a century ago. While they are at it, I don't mind joining in.


You can listen to 'Garden Of Delight' here:

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