"The Socks"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Never thought I would be reviewing a French band called The Socks in Wormwood, but life is strange, isn't it? Something else is strange. I've been on a real crusade against a lot of the 70's retro-rock stuff lately, seeing as most of it is nostalgic bandwagon-jumping fit to induce vomiting. Despite this prediliction, I can't bring myself to knock The Socks. I just can't do it. Against all better judgement, I find myself enjoying this record quite a bit.

One of the reasons I dig this is that it doesn't have a laid back or slow burning sound. There's a lot of energy in these tracks and they owe just as much to garage rock and proto-punk as they do to the usual stoner influences. The sound is certainly authentic and the record is jumping with vintage Hammond organ, all sorts of psychedelic guitar effects and a vocalist who really sounds like he was dug up from the Haight Ashbury circa 1968. It all clicks real well. Plus, most of the songs are short and punchy...not long, dragged out jams that would have anybody not gassed on mushrooms ready to commit suicide. Opening cut "Lords of Illusion" is a nice peppy kick off, with vocal effects on overdrive and sizzling psychedelic leads. Then The Socks really kick into high gear with "Some Kind of Sorcery", which is fast and furious retro rock before slowing somewhat into a slow, fuzzy burn.

Only the last couple tracks, "We Live" and "Last Dragon", kind of veer off the path. It's not a coincidence that's where my interest started to flag, But there's plenty of other 60's/70's ass-whoopin' to enjoy. Check out the ripping guitar work thar brings "Holy Sons" to a close or the awesome Jon Lord-approved Hammond organ crunch on "Electric War".

Nope, can't hang these Socks out to dry. They deliver the goods when it comes to pure psychdelic hard rock. If you have any liking for this kind of music, you better put this on the "to-get" list.