The Standells

South by Southwest Aftershots

The Standells

Buffalo Billiards, March 17

Unlike the wholesale imposters billing themselves as the Standells at the Electric Lounge in the mid-Nineties, the quartet that played Saturday's showcase were at least sort of the real thing. Led by original keyboardist/vocalist Larry Tamblyn and Sixties-era bassist John Fleck (who was an early member of Love), the so-called official Standells is currently in litigation with original guitarist Tony Valentino, who also claims to the name. Meanwhile, drummer/vocalist Dick Dodd – who sang the band's biggest hits – isn't in either of the Standells. Issues of authenticity aside, Tamblyn and company mostly acquitted themselves. The Standells didn't set the room on fire, but its wasn't awful either. New guitarist Mark Adrian shared vocal duties with Tamblyn as it unleashed slightly overdone renditions of "Riot on the Sunset Strip," "Barracuda," and "Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White." It even dusted off "Try It," which was once banned by Dallas radio magnate Gordon McLendon for being too sexually suggestive. The band's new songs, "Mr. One Percent" and "All About the Money," were true to form philosophically but sounded like half-cocked Neil Young rejects. Fortunately, it's almost impossible for a band to shank the all-purpose Boston sports anthem "Dirty Water" on St. Patrick's Day.

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