Thursday, April 23, 2009


If you think every all-girl band is cute, well my friend, guess again.

THE MYSTIC ZEPHYRS 4, "Oh...My Hands"/"Youth Quake" (US Two:Dot label, 1972)

AMAZING garage pop single for all those who thought the SHAGGS were crude. They ain't got nothin' on the mighty Mystic Zephyrs 4 - this all-girl garage band make those chicks sound like the Yardbirds, if'n ya know what I mean. This is absolutely stone-cold BRILLIANT stuff here, a bunch of Dazed and Confused rock babes trying desperately to stay in tune (they don't) while someone bangs on a defective department store organ and their 85-year-old grandmother tries to keep up on drums (I guessed on that one, at least that's what it SOUNDS like to me). Amazingly, the girls sing en masse ALL THE TIME, which, besides being fucking creepy, meant that if they all sang each note at the same time, there was a greater chance that one of the four might actually hit it. If it weren't already drowned out by Mildred behind the Ludwigs, who lays down some of the most INSANE drum fills of all time! I mean, they carried Keith Moon off the stage for less.

So what's a song with a great title like "Oh...My Hands" about anyway? Well, you see, someone in the Mystic Zephyrs 4 has blisters on her hands from playing this song so much, because it's the only way she (they?) can cope with the loss off her (their?) ex-boyfriend. So she goes to the doctor and he gives her relationship advice (as many surgeons are wont to do), to which she replies (and justifiably so) "Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo." Now this was still a year away from the Stones "Heartbreaker," so the love doctor had every right to commit the young lady right there on the spot, but he didn't, instead probably wondering why all four Mystic Zephyrs talk simultaneously EVERY SINGLE FUCKING TIME like creeped-out Village of the Damned sisters with guitars which is actually kinda hot now that I think about it especially if they're all dating the SAME LUCKY DUDE. Anyway, to wrap this up because I can see you're drifting off, her (their) hands now feel a lot better but her (their) heart ain't healing so she can only come to the conclusion that the doctor gave her bad advice. Luckily, the song ends before she can file a malpractice suit, or before all four Mystic Zephyrs descend on the Doctor with hypodermic needles like those freaky Little Sisters at the end of Bioshock. Oh...my...hands! They're...covered...in...blood!
As for "Youth Quake," just remember the chorus. "We're a Youth Quake! We're a Youth Quake, yeah!" Now imagine four girls singing it in unison in the hallways of the Overlook Hotel. Pleasant dreams, everyone.

THE SQUID POP METER SEZ: Redrum, redrum.
BEST TAKEN WITH: Sleeping pills and a momentary loss of muscular coordination.

1 comment:

John K. Fitzpatrick said...

OK, I Love this band, I own both this single and their LP "Maybe", and gotta invoke some Fact-checker General on yo ass.

First, they're not all girls. It right there on the label. He may be pre- or mid-pubescent, but I'm pretty sure Keith Macleod was male. He played keyboards if memory serves.

Second, the drummer was the youngest sister, Joyce, 12 years old. Of course, that does not diminish the wonderful insanity and skill of it.


But thanks for sharing your thoughts on this GREAT band.

- John