The Fleshtones

Have a Good Look | Yep Roc
By BRETT MILANO  |  March 5, 2008
3.0 3.0 Stars
inside_THE-FLESHTONES---HAV
It’s not enough for a great live band to create a strong, sweaty groove in the studio: they’ve gotta write the songs, too. That’s an obvious point, but one that finally hit the Fleshtones on 1998’s More Than Skin Deep — their best album to that point, made when almost nobody was paying attention. They cut their average song length in half, jumped the number of hooks, and came up with a medium-fi approach that sounded more live than their several live albums. They’ve been on a roll since then, and Take a Good Look may be their personal best. There’s swagger, bluster, and just enough late-career desperation to give it some poignance. Most of all there are big, fat hooks — better than the hooks the band wrote 20 years ago, and as good as those the neo-garage kids are writing now. The advice on “Love Yourself” gets resonance from its tough Yardbirds sound, and anybody who ever gave the band a bad time is dispatched in “Shiny Hiney,” one of their nastiest “Louie Louie” homages. Detroit producer Jim Diamond keeps them on the verge of mania throughout, and it bursts through on the closing title track. The only song here over three minutes, it finds singer Peter Zaremba testifying that the Fleshtones had to be crazy to stick around this long and that they still ain’t going away.

The Fleshtones +  Lyres + The Prime Movers | Harpers Ferry, 158 Brighton Avenue, Allston | March 7 | 617.254.9743
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