The new compilation 3X4 drops tomorrow on Yep Roc. It is, essentially, a tribute to the Paisley Underground scene featuring The Bangles, The Three O'Clock, The Dream Syndicate, and The Rain Parade covering each other's songs. It's a fine effort, even if it's no Rainy Day.
Some numbers here, like The Bangles' take on "Jet Fighter" from The Three O'Clock, or The Rain Parade's ruminative stroll through "When You Smile" from The Dream Syndicate, work perfectly. The tunes are, of course resilient, and the players here were all part of the same scene so, yeah, nearly easy to pick up on the vibe from a contemporary, one guesses. Elsewhere, The Three O'Clock turn "What She's Done To Your Mind" from The Dream Syndicate into something that sounds a bit like The Wonders, and that's a fine thing, as far I'm concerned, while The Dream Syndicate take The Rain Parade's "You Are My Friend" and make it sound a whole lot like a classic Dream Syndicate number, which I guess was the point here.
Still, for all those successes, there are a few minor missteps here, namely The Dream Syndicate's evisceration of the spry "Hero Takes A Fall" by The Bangles, the power-pop classic mangled here, or "That's What You Always Say" by The Bangles, The Dream Syndicate number retaining little of its nasty spark anymore. But I don't want to focus on those moments because lots of what's here is fine indeed, stuff like "Real World" from The Bangles revealed to be a real trippy masterpiece by the members of The Rain Parade, or "Getting Out Of Hand", also from The Bangles, revved up perfectly by The Three O'Clock near the end of 3X4.
This compilation works best for those who love at least a few of these 4 bands a lot, and who are willing to hear each act take some huge chances. Now, if only Rainy Day was back in print. 3X4 remains a nice reminder of that L.A. scene for the time being, I guess.
3X4 is out tomorrow via Yep Roc.