This site is built on the idea that every 7” single has a story behind it. Consistently some of the best have come from digging around the most unassuming, plain sleeve 45’s on Almost Ready, Last Laugh and Mighty Mouth. This single with a fairly cryptic inner sleeve design lists two tracks from Grand Trine “I Need You Baby” and “Say It” that are credited to The Bohemians. A little googling later and I came across a post from Tobias Rochman about the connection between the two bands:
It’s 3 years in the making (or 45 years depending on your view point) but it’s finally out. The new Grand Trine - I Need You Baby/Say It 7” and on the right is the Bohemians - I Need You Baby/Say It 7 from 1967”. Both were pressed in runs of only 300.It’s a great homage to Tobias’ history as well as a sincere tribute to those early sounds. Unbelievable that this modern reverb sound originated forty years in the past and even more amazing how contemporary Grand Trine makes this sound. Both bands smack in the middle of this sound, it’s very beginning and current resurgence.
I’ve been telling the story ‘til I’m blue in the face these past few years. So all I will say at this point is this is the only record I’ve ever played on that means anything at all or holds any weight for me personally. As a person with very few family ties, and a very minimal family spread thinly across the globe it acts as a thread between estranged kith and kin, the present and the past, and also the reasons I started making music at all when the first instrument was handed to me. We knew the group was dissolving before it was even released but it just seemed like an important record to exist. I want to thank Harry at the label for understanding that and being so enthusiastic about the project.
As Shub and I enter different worlds lately touring with Dirty Beaches or Cosmetics, travelling around the world and doing things we’ve always wanted to do, I am so happy our collaborative efforts of the past 4 years amounted to at least one 45RPM single that means something. I now feel like we did what we always wanted to do and we can finally move forward. Thank you!
"I need you baby" comes in with machine made drums under crazy muddled texture with a surf and echo Cramps style. Their jangly, goofy pop guitar with surf chords adds up to a tough exterior that whoops it up at the end of every phrase with an era appropriate farfisa organ wheezing over notes. The machine beat metronomes on and on… this could be an evolution of dirty beaches (I swear I wrote that before I knew anything about that connection). Just a few sentences of lyric, low and under his breath, "I need you baby" pounding out hissy thumps and cracks to the end of the track. A relative of Suicide could have conjured up this warped document if they ended up on the West coast or a deserted island...and had a time machine... It’s the Looper of singles kid, I don’t have all day to explain this stuff, we’ll start drawing diagrams with straws.
"Say it" creates swarthy treble filled screeches of slow surf guitar with slow picking and overblown vocals. I would have guessed that Harry found this perfect example of a bygone era that foreshadowed the garage reverb rock that's happening today, and I’m sort of right and sort of wrong. This is a sad song about being in a love that isn’t going to work out. A scratchy solo blows out speakers when he can't go on singing anymore. It’s the best guitar sound, taking that can’t-go-on-anymore sadness to a giant new place. The original and this cover are perfect, the guitar and vocal are on the same level of wrecked sound that tortured vocals “Please say it!” The twang of surf and blues blows in like that Deadman soundtrack. I can't stop thinking about Neil Young in a room looking at dailies of Indian noir Johnny Depp and just destroying a tower of marshal stacks. He needs to feel it, like this record. It gets deep inside without laying on the speed, its ghostly and fraught with emotion. Incredible. As always.
You can check out the original versions from the Bohemians on their myspace page.
Get this one from Almost Ready Records.