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The Satelliters - Hashish (2005)

Inspired by their love for 50's B-movies, The Satelliters started in 1993 with a nasty romp of drunken, three-chord garage punk for the intentions of "freaking people out." Accompanied by their masked stage presence and the garb of aging hipsters, the band's debut full-length Hi Karate was released in 1996 with the financial assistance of Dionysus Records. Dipping into their huge discography (which includes a number of singles and EPs on Demolition Derby, Pin-up and Screaming Apple Records) Dionysus released four more CDs in the States over the next eight years, including Wylde Knights of Action in 1997, Shake, Shake, Shake in 1998, Sexplosive in 2001, and Hashish in 2005. Continuing to add to their overflowing catalog of psychedelic 60's garage rock, the label put out The Satelliter's self-titled EP in 2006, which would be followed with Where Do We Go? in 2007.

The fifth album by the Satelliters evinces little in the way of creative growth, and in this brand of retro garage rock, that's a good thing. The Satelliters are far more than Germany's answer to the Hives, because this five-piece cares less about the pose than the sound: perfect doses of fuzztone guitar, just-so stabs of piercing Farfisa organ, and snaky hand percussion fill all of the songs. Interestingly, however, the covers aren't perfect replications of the originals (including the Association's "Five Man Band" and We the People's "You Byrn Me Up and Down"), but rather, smoking rave-ups on comparatively effete originals that these days somehow sound more "authentic" than the originals. The one comparative flop in this regard is a suitably snotty take on the Small Faces' "Wham Bam Thank You Mam" that unfortunately doesn't match the mod stomp of the original. The band's own songs fare much better, particularly the yowling "Go Away," which matches the aggression of the early Pretty Things, and the organ-driven hard psychedelia of the closing "1969: The End of Time."

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