Fleshtones: Up-Front (1980)

This formal introduction to Fleshtones includes the delightful “Cold, Cold Shoes” and a handful of retro garage rock numbers with names like “The Girl From Baltimore” and “The Theme From ‘The Vindicators.’” In the early ‘80s, I.R.S. was introducing new bands at a breakneck pace, some of whom stuck (The Police, The Go-Go’s) and most of whom had but one shining moment and soon disappeared into obscurity or the indie label swamp (The Fleshtones, Skafish, The Payola$). “Shoes” is that shining moment for Fleshtones, a tightened-up version of ‘60s garage rock that gets under your skin in a hurry. The rest of Up-Front is good for a one-time jolt of retro rock revival, although you wonder if the band isn’t a one-trick pony. The band’s first full-length album, Roman Gods, proved they could sustain the rock ‘n roll party atmosphere over an entire elpee. Up-Front was later appended to the reissue of Roman Gods, providing an appetizer for that party platter.

Original EP Version
A1. The Girl From Baltimore (Peter Zaremba) (2:24)
A2. Cold, Cold Shoes (Keith Streng/Peter Zaremba) (2:37)
A3. Feel The Heat (Keith Streng/Peter Zaremba) (3:01)
B1. Play With Fire (Mick Jagger/Keith Richards/Brian Jones/Bill Wyman/Charlie Watts) (2:26)
B2. The Theme From “The Vindicators” (Peter Zaremba) (2:20)

The Players
Bill Milhizer, Jan Marek Pakulski, Keith Streng, Peter Zaremba with Action Combo (brass), Brian Spaeth (tenor sax solo on B2), Gordon Spaeth (alto sax solo on B2). Produced by Paul Wexler; engineered by Jerry Napier.

The Pictures
Front photo and small rear photos by Joe Stevens. Back photo by Mike Morse. Art direction by Sir Carl Grasso.

The Plastic
Released on extended play (EP) in 1980 in the US (IRS, SP 70402).

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