Something of a paradox presented itself after throwing “Bubblegum Fury!” by The Va Va Voodoos into the CD player. Contemporary technology produced a blast of lo-fi ’60s garage rock one would expect out of the Mamas and the Papas.
And, that’s no mistake.
So, before I looked for the goon who somehow concocted a bluetooth connection between my CD player and a portable 8-track player, I looked into The Va Va Voodoos. Sure enough, this is their kind of thing. Exactly as described, ’60s garage rock, with a little folk, a little sci-fi (see also “Theme From Surfer Ghoul”) and all out fun. Take into consideration the band’s collective interests: Monster movies, sci-fi, beat up flying saucers, cars with balls, major and underground comic books, baseball cards, action figures and Mexican wrestling. This four-piece band out of Troy bends time backwards and takes you on a magical hippy-hop trip.
Formerly The Mysteios, The Va Va Voodoos recorded “Bubblegum Fury!” last January at The Burgherhof in Troy. Authentic to the time, Johnny Mystery and Jo Agopovich provide masterfully distorted guitar and bass, respectively. On “Going Back to the Rodeo,” the band’s most recent single from the nine-song EP, ironically features lead vocals from Tambourine Girl – never to be mistaken for the young, tambourine shaking wallflower, Tracy Partridge. She takes front and center on vocals, with Dan Electro in the back, behind the drum kit.
The only thing potentially ripping you out of this time warp is the 10-second synthesizer play introducing “Space Girl.” Otherwise, you have an authentic reproduction of a by-gone time, short tracks and fast-paced. Some influences of The Fleshtones can be detected, especially from the bookend tracks of “Dance Like You Have Some Soul,” and “Theme From Surfer Ghoul.” It is a fun experience to allow yourself. The Va Va Voodoos do for old school garage rock, what Off The Record does for ’60s lounge music.
To learn more about The Va Va Voodoos, head over to the band’s Facebook page for for bios, videos, show dates and samples from its music catalog. And, if you really want to go back in time, you’ll find a link to the band’s myspace page, where you can sample four songs from their Mysteio days, like “We’re All Mysteios.”
Michael Hallisey is managing editor of Spotlight Newspapers.