I've been getting reports that my busted computer (on which all of my shit is stored, I really should do backups every now and then) is on the mend. When, and if, I get it back I can resume posting as usual. Until then, here's a blast from the past. A post originally posted in March 2007 on my very first blog, then reposted in slightly modified form on Metal Bastard Goes Soft in December 2009. Third time's a charm, eh?
This story begins in Detroit in 1964.
A gentleman by the name of Scott Morgan was the lead singer and guitarist of a garage band called The Rationals. They never had a big hit, altough the single Respect (recorded a year before Aretha Franklin scored big time with her own version) did break the Billboard 100 in 1966.
After the band parted ways in 1970, Morgan joined forces with MC5’s Fred Smith, Gary Rassmussen of the band Up and wild-man Scott Asheton from The Stooges to form Sonic’s Rendesvouz Band (which I will from here on refer to as “SRB”, because it’s just too damn long).
The band only ever released one single before they split up, but over the years a cult following grew. Bootleg live albums were traded and rock ‘n’ rollers world wide drooled over this supergroup, full of Detroit rock royalty. One of these rock ‘n’ rollers was Nick Royale of Swedish rock heroes The Hellacopters, a band greatly influenced by the Detroit scene of the 1970’s. On the vinyl version of their second album Payin’ The Dues (1997), they included a cover of SRB’s City Slang.
This did not go unnoticed and soon Scott Morgan became friends with The Hellacopters. In 1998 Nick got together with two member of the Dutch rock band The Nitwitz to form the project The Hydromatics, which basically started as a SRB tribute band. Scott Morgan was asked to perform the vocals on the recording and the resulting album, 1999’s Parts Unknown, is an amalgamation of SRB classics and original material, with an MC5 cover thrown in for good measure.
In September 1999 The Hellacopters got their asses on a plane to New York to record two SRB songs with Scott for a single on SubPop Records. These two songs, 16 With A Bullet and Slow Down (Take A Look), were later included on the Hellacopters rarities compilation Cream Of The Crap Vol. 2 in 2004. During these sessions Scott and Nick also collaborated on a new song, entitled Hurtin’ Time, which was later recorded by The Hellacopters for their 2000 album High Visibility. Still with me? Okay, good.
With Nick’s newfound love for classic soul and r’n'b, and Scott hailing from the soul capital of the world, The Solution took form in 2003. Demos of songs (including Monkeyboy which would later appear on The 'Copters' 2005 album Rock & Roll Is Dead) were sent back and forth across the Atlantic, and with a full album’s worth of material assembled, Nick & Scott got together in Atlantis Studios in Stockholm to record Communicate!, with a horn section, female back-up singers and the whole shebang.
The first single I Have To Quit You Baby became a top 10 hit in Sweden, and the album was greeted with well deserved rave reviews, with more than one reviewer drawing parallells to blue-eyed soul legends Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels. To make a soul album is a tricky thing for white people, and the fact that Communicate! sounds nothing like The Commitments is a monumental achievement.
Nick soon left The Hydromatics to focus on The Hellacopters, and The Solution released their second album Will Not Be Televised in 2007. Let's hope that Nick, now that The Hellacopters are no more, will give The Solution a more attention. And Death Breath too of course. We need another Death Breath album NOW!
(mp3) The Hydromatics - Dangerous
(mp3) The Hydromatics - Get it together
(mp3) The Hydromatics - Calling L.W.A.
Availble on Parts Unknown (1999)
(mp3) The Hellacopters - Hurtin' time
Availble on High Visibility (2000)
(mp3) Scott Morgan & The Hellacopters - Slow down (take a look)
(mp3) Scott Morgan & The Hellacopters - 16 with a bullet
Availble on Cream Of The Crap Vol. 2 (compilation, 2004)
(mp3) The Solution - Get on back
(mp3) The Solution - Phoenix
(mp3) The Solution - Words
Availble on Communicate! (2004)
The Solution live in 2004:
The video for The Solution's You Gotta Come Down: