The Peppermint Rainbow – Will You Be Staying After Sunday

ImageThe Peppermint Rainbow first came to notoriety after Mama Cass Elliot from The Mamas and the Papas recommended them to Decca Records after attending one of their shows. The band was soon signed, and in 1969 they released Will You Be Staying After Sunday. Although this would be there one and only record, they seemed to have left their mark on the sunshine pop genre. Several of the album’s songs, most notably the title track “Will You Be Staying After Sunday” and “Walking in Different Circles,” feature prominent upbeat vocal harmonies and simplistic yet catchy rhythms. With a good combination of both male and female vocalists, The Peppermint Rainbow thrive in vocal heavy tracks. Interestingly enough, the band also flirts with psychedelic pop on tracks such as “Pink Lemonade” and “Green Tambourine.” These songs (my personal favorites) incorporate traditional psychedelic pop features like distortion and surrealistic lyrics in order break the monotony of incredibly cheerful sunshine pop songs. These two songs do a lot to bring the album familiarity and quality. For all of the positive aspects of the album, Will You Be Staying After Sunday lacks several key things to truly set this album apart. Although The Peppermint Rainbow often sound fresh, they struggle to find their own identity through a myriad of covers and sound-alikes. The album also fails to be consistent. When the tracks aren’t enjoyable, they can be dreadful––songs like “Jamais” and “Sierra (Chasin’ My Dream)” come to mind. This lack of consistency is perhaps why the band’s post-album recordings failed to materialize into a second album despite a mildly popular debut. Overall, this album is a fairly decent 60s sunshine pop album with some very solid tunes. If you enjoy sunshine pop or are willing to dabble outside of your comfort zone, then you should pick up this album. If you are into harder rock ‘n’ roll bands, there’s plenty of other talented bands reviewed below.  B-

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New Colony Six – Attacking a Straw Man

ImageWhen I first heard about New Colony Six from a man in my local record store, he described them as a psychedelic rock band from the late 60s. This is an accurate description except for the fact that he left out one word––soft. New Colony Six is a psychedelic soft rock bad from the late 60s. The difference this one word makes in my musical tastes is quite remarkable. Needless to say, when I got home and listened to New Colony Six’s Attacking a Straw Man, I was pretty disappointed. Granted, I may have had too high of expectations, but still, soft rock is not necessarily what comes to mind when I think of psychedelic music from the 60s. Released on Mercury Records in 1969, Attacking the Straw Man is full of soft rock numbers, a few of which have an interesting dose of psychedelic rock sprinkled in. Many of the songs such as “Barbara, I Love You” and “Love, That’s the Best I Can Do” seem little more than cliché love songs that continuously populate soft rock stations and Rod Stewart albums. Although much of the album exists in this vein, there are a few warm spots where the psychedelic atmosphere of the 60s squeezed its way onto a track or two. For example, the opening to “Free” is funky and groovy and lays down a quintessential 60s beat that carries the song to fruition. It’s definitely a high note on the album. The song “Come and Give Your Love to Me” also demonstrates the band’s skill through the use of a psychedelic organ and some interesting guitar riffs. This song is my favorite on the album; it leaves me wishing that the band had implemented more of this sound throughout the album. In the end, perhaps that is the biggest issue: I want the band to be something it is not. I want the band to be a cool 60s psychedelic rock band, but in reality, the band is just another soft rock band that happens to be from the 60s and also happens to have a touch of psychedelic sound influencing their soft souls.  C