The Cryan" Shames

Albums reviewed on this page: Sugarand Spice, A scrape in the Sky,Synthesis.

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The Cryan" Shames were a Chicago pop-rockband whocould play pretty well, but did not do anything new. Theyreleased a whopping 3 albums, of which I have two. First is an exercise in tendency copying, while the 2nd is a nicelittle psychedelic pop-rock album. Not a standard mind you,justa nice small album. The main force in the band was leadguitarist Jim Fairs: he and also bassist Lenny Kerley wrote many of AScratch in the Sky. However, Fairs left duringtheir thirdalbum (I believe), and also I to be unsure about the results. Ns amdisinclined totype up every themembers the the tape again. If youareinsanely curious, look at the finish of the reviews.

Sugarand spice (1966), **Boy,somebody likes the Byrds.The Cryan" Shames sound like the regional Byrdscover band, which provides sense because that mid-1966. Lock don"t doanything silly prefer play the hits, but "We"ll accomplish Again"and "She Don"t Care around Time" room played outright, andthe band"s entire method is Byrdsian: guitarist Jim Fairs go agood McGuinn impersonation on 12-string, and also the team has theirharmonies down, yet why listen to this when can listen come theoriginal? To it is in fair, Sugar and also Spice isnot allByrdsian; the tape covers various other top action - Beatles ("If ns NeededSomeone"), Motown ("Heatwave"), the pipeline ("HeyJoe"), and also the animals (an odd variation "We got to gain Outof This Place" with an unfunny spoken intro, and also possiblyoverdubbed crowd noises). Also the fun, bouncy title trackwasa Searchers fight from 1963. There room some goodsigns here- the band plays well with each other (as supposed from a cover band), andlead guitarist Jim Fairs penned 4 tracks. In ~ best, hisworkis typical pop-rock ("I Wanna fulfill You", "We can BeHappy"), however "Ben Franklin"s Almanac" is a tiny stepbeyond their Byrds copying. It"s still rather Byrdsian, butmorerocking, as the rhythm etc plugs away at a Bo Diddly beat, andFairs allots self a pretty solo spot. The is, well, at leastfair, at lead guitar, although nobody else in the band really standsout. Again, castle were most likely fun to view live, yet only asubstitute because that what was easily available. Nothingparticularlyoriginal around Sugar and also Spice, uneven you includethe guywith a hook (Jim Pilster aka J.C. Hooke) for an hand playingtambourine. Although that might be sufficient for some. The rest ofthe tape is Dennis Conroy (drums), Tom Doody (lead vocals), DavePurple (bass), and also Gerry rock (guitar).

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AScratch in the Sky
(1967), ***Justlike scientists posturing the presence of one unknown fragment ordetecting a world through the gravitational pull, friend knew this hadto exist - a Chicago psychedelic pop-rock album. Okay, maybeyou did not know it, however it walk exist and also if youcan acceptthe fact that the Cryan" Shames never had an original idea in theirentire lives, you"ll gain A scrape in the Sky.Thealbum succeeds since Fairs and new bassist Lenny Kerley go a greatjob creating hooks, comes up v catchy melodies, and also getting thegroup"s vocal harmonies into shape. Rather of the Byrds,the Chicagoans now echoed West coast harmony teams like the BeachBoys and the Association, and also British psychedelia. So,the team gathered increase every conceivable tool they might play,and go on a psychedelic pop-rock binge. AScratch in the skies is no amasterpiece, but it was much more cutting edge than Paul Revere and also the Raidersever got. The band"s flexibility is apparent, indigenous happylittletunes favor "The city I"d prefer to Go earlier To" and also thecosmopolitan "In the Cafe," tomore beach Boysinfluenced songs favor "It might Be We"re In Love."The group had enough chops to successfully venture into more rockterritory ("Sunshine Psalm" and the feeling "DennisDupree native Danville") and also their psychedelic jams space rather,erm, pretty (the elaborate "The city I"d favor toGo BackTo"). Fairs and Kerley simply cranked the end a pile of fine popsongs such together "A Carol because that Lorelei", "In the Cafe","Cobblestone Road" and the tripped out "The SailingShip," among those already mentioned, and theband"s play is credible and also detailed enough to permit theFairs/Kerley songwriting team to existing all this without it comingoff as crude. Sure, there is plentyof outrightcopying: "Mr. Unreliable" is a fine Beatles knockoff and "IWas Lonely When" is a dead-on impression that a Marty Balin ledJefferson Airplanetrack, and also there"s anunnecessary cover of the Goffin/King "Up ~ above the Roof". Still, if youlike psychedelic pop-rock (or think friend might) checkthis out - it"s quite good, also if unoriginal. (Isaac Guillory(guitar) replaced rock as well.)

(1968), **Thispegs the group"s interest as drawing from both American West coast popgroups like the Mamas and also Papas, as well as stars choose the Beatles, tomake reasonably adventurous pop-rock. Synthesis followsScratch"stechnique that featuring songs in a variety of styles, but suffers fromthe ns of Fairs. He contributed one that Synthesis"stwo standout tracks: "First Train come California", a quite sunshine popsong drawing fromsqueaky clean acts like Mamas and Papas andtheBeach Boys. The other is "Greenberg, Glickstein, David SmithandJones", a complete blown psychedelic absent song, with instruments turned up,phased production, and everything. While I give them marksfortrying, Guillory might have found drugs, due to the fact that his two pop epics("A Master"s Fall" and also "Symphony the the Wind") close the end both sides ofthe album. Castle sound prefer the band was emulating the MoodyBlues" grandiose approach, but the melodies and also lyrics flop.Thechorus the his continual psych-pop track "The Painter" is additionally close come aparody: "I"m the funny painter man (he"s the funny artist man)." A couple of popular music songs are decent sufficient ("Baltimore Oriole"and"Sweet Girl of Mine"), but the remainder of the album is nice flat(curdling ballads, a Caribbean valuation tune, etc). If theydidnot have horns tacked ~ above every track and avoided Paul Revere"s mimeographed popular music stylings, synthesis is a disappointingfinal entry indigenous the group.

Fairsappeared on a pearl BeforeSwine album in 1969 (recorded in NY?), and also Guillory released a soloalbum in the 1970s, which,embarrassingly enough, i own.