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Trashmen - Surfin' Bird: The Best of the Trashmen

  by Maarten Schiethart

published: 13 / 7 / 2020

Trashmen - Surfin' Bird: The Best of the Trashmen
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Maarten Schiethart reflects on a compilation from mid-Western surf-twang pioneers The Trashmen from last year, who were finally given a comprehensive Best-of CD in the UK.

The Trashmen fully enjoyed their short-lived career. Beginning as basically a covers band, they took the shine off the songs they found, and put the emphasis on the grittier aspects of tunes popular in their heyday. With the manic performance of 'Surfin' Bird' they reached number four in 1963 in the Billboard 100 chart, after which they tried to build on that success with 'Bird Dance Beat' and 'Bird Bath' to little avail. The Trashmen recorded their debut album when they were still climbing the charts. And were probably told to back off a little. Like a bunch of ranch-hands taking on a couple of sunny Beach Boys, The Trashmen gathered grime and sleaze on hit songs from 1963 onwards, at the same time as a certain Cliff Richard was introducing the spit-and-polish concept to rock and roll. 'Whoa Dad!'and 'Tube City' are two more examples on this CD of fabulous bangers that most people have missed out on. I first heard of The Trashmen after hearing The Cramps covering 'Surfin' Bird' on their "Gravest Hits" EP in 1978. Now, over 40 years later, I am returning to them. Short-lived and well-remembered for one song, they knew how to rumble. The band's prime quality was to be able to dig up that dirty groove from a seemingly harmless song. As a recognised member of the Church of Vinyl, I do commend to you this compact disc.

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Trashmen - Surfin' Bird: The Best of the Trashmen

Trashmen - Surfin' Bird: The Best of the Trashmen

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