313) Bohemian Vendetta — “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”
Who were the Vendetta? — a “quintet . . . from New York’s Long Island, who backed Faine Jade on his Introspection album in 1968. That same year, they recorded and released a self-titled album for the Mainstream label.” (Bruce Eder in All Music Guide). One of the songs on the album was the Vendetta’s cover of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” It seems that a lot of artists have gotten (off) some from the iconic number that everybody knows came to Keith Richards in a dream. I have already flagged Jose Feliciano’s wonderful version (see #74). Well, the only words I can think of to convey the character of the Vendetta’s spin around the block are “demented,” “deranged,” and “delirious.” Psychedelic Rock ‘n’ roll agrees, calling the album’s covers “pretty demented.” (https://psychedelic-rocknroll.blogspot.com/2009/11/bohemian-vendetta-bohemian-vendetta-60s.html). In fact, I would say that the Vendetta vocals make Mick Jagger’s sound like Pat Boone’s. In case it doesn’t come through, I love this song.
So does Brendan in Rising Storm:
A melee of clangy guitars, screeching Vox Continental, thick fuzz, angst, acid, and pure energy make Bohemian Vendetta’s album one of the best garage finds ever reissued. . . . After a series of ripping beat demos and a single for United Artists, even scoring a tv spot on Dick Clark’s Rate-A-Record, the . . . Bohemians got a shot at a full LP . . . in 1968. Given the chance, this small group of teenage acid punks let loose with their monster, penning some excellent original numbers and warping a couple of very popular covers. The label delayed their album and hardly promoted it . . . but it screams.
Brendan and my adulation is not universally shared. Dr. Schluss gives a mixed review:
While not the grooviest band on the block, Bohemian Vendetta manages to rip out some nice face melting sounds on their sole LP. . . . [W]e find a few questionable covers. Their cover of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” gets five points for some great acid guitar leads, but then loses 76 by being painfully slow and having screechy vocals. . . . Bohemian Vendetta probably is a good candidate for the quintessential acid garage band. That is to say they don’t take home the first prize unopposed, but they do manage to stumble onto some inspired sounds from time to time.
And I can’t really describe Z-Man’s comment on AMG as mixed:
You’re scraping the bottom of the barrel here. In sum, this is poorly produced, pubescent garage rock. Their songs sound like they were written during lunch break and recorded after school in somebody’s actual garage. Some of the vocals are horrifically abrasive . . . . And the covers are disgraceful. The album’s amateur quality is too overwhelming.
Wait a second. “Poorly produced,” “pubescent,” “written during lunch break,” “recorded after school in somebody’s actual garage,” “horrifically abrasive,” “disgraceful,” “amateur[ish]” — aren’t those all the hallmarks of a fabulous 60’s garage rocker? And the Vendetta’s “Satisfaction” is a fabulous 60’s garage rocker. Teenage acid punks indeed.
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