The Vinyl Kings: A Little Trip

(CD Review originally posted at: CD Baby).

One of the things that's so interesting about the Beatles is that they spanned a wide variety of music in their relatively brief musical career, and continued to do so well after their breakup ("... and Wings" notwithstanding—sorry Paul). This is important to keep in mind when approaching The Vinyl Kings, a band whose biggest sell is that they sound like the Beatles—and they do, all too well. A Little Trip, their first album, is jam-packed with the kind of songs that make us dig out the old LPs, pointy boots, and the marching band jackets, and like Rob Fleming in High Fidelity, listen to the music that belongs to us, that will "make me feel something, (but) they won't make me feel anything bad."

And that's all well and good, but with A Little Trip the Vinyl Kings have captured the Beatles sound in a hyper-compressed form—which is to say that it's a great disc, but the Beatles of Meet the Beatles are not exactly the same as those of Sgt. Pepper, and entirely different than those of The Beatles (aka The White Album). A Little Trip is exactly as advertised: it is a collection of Beatles-esque music that feels like someone's mix tape of personal hits. This is fine, up to a point: "Bang Bang" feels wrong, as if in the midst of the singer's tirade against the industry the Lennon mask has slipped a bit; and "Chocolate Cake" is a pastiche of both "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Savoy Truffle" that manages be more confusingly strange than both. This album has the overall feeling of demo tape, a sort of "look what we can do" to the world, and while that is no doubt the point of A Little Trip, it doesn't quite gel as an album. Nevertheless it's good to hear this kind of music again, and I look forward to hearing their next album.

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