Sidewalk Society: Strange Roads, the songs of Rolled Gold – album review

strange_roadsSIDEWALK SOCIETY: STRANGE ROADS, the songs of Rolled Gold

Fruits de Mer Records

Sidewalk Society have done a unique and beautiful reworking of the complete album by Mod God 1960’s band The Action. Strange Roads is released on gold vinyl and has brought to life the half finished album and which was turned down by Parlophone Records back in the 1960’s.

At the moment the world is celebrating the anniversary of many albums none more so than The Beatles Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. What the world might not know is there was a band that was produced by The Beatles very own producer George Martin, releasing some of the very best singles ever to come out of the 1960’s. Mainly a cover band of soul and motown songs, The Action were none the less the best of what they did. Steve Marriott, Pete Townshend and Paul Weller have all acclaimed The Action for their work and most importantly the harmonies that the band captured. No other band has matched their vocal chords in my humble opinion.

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After The Action had covered all they wanted to they went into the studio nearly the end of the 60’s to work on their own material, taking things more seriously and in this effort writing some of the most criminally underrated and unheard songs of that era. These demos can be found via the Brain/Rolled Gold releases.

Almost 50 years later Sidewalk Society release Strange Roads on Fruits De Mer records. Each song has been beautifully crafted, adding a sophistication to the songs whilst bringing a newly encrusted Beatles/Beach Boy type sound to each song. You can picture George Martin bringing this kind of clean and polished sound to each song if he was left to craft the original songs in Abbey Road. Sidewalk Society have been working on this tribute to the legendary band The Action for a long time – and it’s a classic – a true labour of love.

Some may argue that you should never mess with certain albums and songs, especially when they are held dear to the heart of the listener, but in this case with Sidewalk Society they have a album of unique quality, bringing to life the songs of The Action, adding to the exception that is this release should be held in high esteem of the original fans of The Action and should be embraced and championed by the new fans of Sidewalk Society.

Original band members of The Action have said the following about the release:

“The 2nd incarnation of the Action, brilliantly re birthed by the Sidewalk Society” Roger Powell
“I didn’t know what to expect but I think the album will get a lot of interest. There’s nothing quite like it out there.” Ian Whiteman

You can purchase Strange Roads via Fruits De Mer Records. You can also follow Sidewalk Society via their Twitter and Facebook pages.

You can purchase the official book on The Action via this link.

The Action are also on Twitter and there is a The Action fan page on Facebook.

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More writing by Matt can be found at his Louder Than War author archive.

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