The Austin Chronicle

Texas Platters

Reviewed by Greg Beets, October 23, 2015, Music

Despite a mid-Sixties Amarillo pedigree, the Kitchen Cinq doesn't comport with the dominant narrative of Texas garage rock. Nor do they curry the ear of psych, and certainly not country-tinged singer-songwriter Lee Hazlewood. Yet thanks to a tenuous connection with Tom Thacker, a Panhandle disc jockey-turned-West Coast promo man, the quintet went from Lone Star barn gigs to signing with Hazlewood's short-lived LHI Records and relocating to Los Angeles. Initially performing as the Illusions and the Y'alls, the label's inaugural act married fuzzed-up Merseybeat energy with emergent folk-pop vocals. 1966's "Determination" could fit alongside the Remains on the pioneering Nuggets compilation with jerk-worthy time signature and a "Now get 'em, hoss!" exhortation. A-side "You'll Be Sorry Someday" combines the busted heart vengeance of a Del Shannon record with awkward, dead-air dropouts at the chorus. After one full-length (1967's Everything But), Wrecking Crew regulars like bassist Larry Knechtel and drummer Jim Gordon took over on everything but vocals. Here the band morphed into a sunshine pop troupe in the vein of the Association. An ornate cover of Al Kooper's "The Street Song" represents the high-water mark. Though the Cinq only flirt with revelation, their musical arc makes for expert Texan archaeology.


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