Friday, July 15, 2016
The Tom Collins (the band, not the drink)
I (Jonder) have added labels to the blog, so you can find all of Brian's creations, Cliff's reggae posts, or genres that Big Scott loves -- like psych and stoner rock. Scott's post on Electric Wizard reminded me that my son loves that band: he says he can listen to them louder than Black Sabbath because Ozzy's voice hurts his ears.
Which in turn reminded me of The Tom Collins. Just as Electric Wizard is massively indebted to Sabbath, the Tom Collins was like Led Zeppelin without Robert Plant. No disrespect to Plant: I grew up on LZ and kept their albums even after I dumped all my Rush, Styx, and Kansas records (in the days of punk).
The Tom Collins' drummer Kyle Spence plays uncannily like Bonham. Spence later joined J.Mascis And The Fog. Singer/guitarist Fran Capitanelli became a sideman for Butch Walker and Gavin DeGraw. But the trio of Fran, Kyle Spence, and bassist Craig McQuiston IMO rivaled the complex rhythms and riffs of Houses of The Holy and Physical Graffiti... if those records had been made without Robert Plant. Take a listen (link in comments section) and see if you agree.
The writer James Barber called the Tom Collins a "musical powerhouse that refuses to apologize for an undeniable debt to Led Zeppelin, but it's a cryptic sort of debt that imagines that Jimmy Page was ripping off Television's Marquee Moon when he was making In Through the Out Door. This is a power trio: echoes of Cream ripple through the album, but the Tom Collins is also undeniably Southern, somehow conjuring Tom Petty, R.E.M. and the Allman Brothers all at once." (You might not hear all that until the last 10 tracks.)
The Tom Collins made their third and best album in 2005, but they never broke out of the Atlanta/Athens circuit. They are one of those underappreciated bands, like many that Scott has shared. Here's a 75 min comp of my favorite Tom Collins songs. (That's Fran jamming with Brent Hinds and Mastodon on the left.)