Friday, January 17, 2020

The Boys Next Door - The Boys Next Door

 Although the Boys Next Door's craftily arranged and produced sound was extremely derivative of the Beach Boys and other mid-'60s Southern California acts like Jan & Dean and Gary Lewis, this is a solid and fun collection of their singles (the earliest of which were billed to the Four Wheels) and unreleased cuts. It's also more sonically diverse than many '60s groups with obvious influences are, from the straight-up hot rod sounds of "Cold 45" (a cop of the Beach Boys' "409") to "Mandy" (which crosses the BBs' "Little Deuce Coupe" with the production of more sophisticated tunes like "The Little Girl I Once Knew"). To hammer home the Beach Boys comparison even more, "I Could See Me Dancing with You" owes a lot to the BBs' cover of "Do You Wanna Dance?" "Why Be Proud"/"Suddenly She Was Gone" explores a moodier vein, and there's an obscure Al Kooper co-composition, "There Is No Greater Sin." No, this music is not deep or lost genius. But not every unearthed batch of sounds from the mid-'60s has to be to be worth hearing.

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