Fresh & Onlys - Early Years Anthology

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‰ÛÏThese were carefree times. We were young enough to put our bodies toåÊthe test every night on the seven-by-seven-mile patch of the Bay. The endlessåÊwars seemed less at home. Songs were hanging off the branches heavy,åÊplump and threatening to rot on the vine if they weren‰۪t polished and put toåÊtape.

The band was on their third live drummer but the lineup in The FreshåÊ& Onlys‰۪ recording tower was a consistent group of pop soldiersåÊwriting,åÊworking and whiling away the hours. A beer amid of cheap cans, endless dopeåÊsmokery and a pretty strong vibe of dudes who would play together intoåÊoblivion. 388 rolling, tape spilling over itself, drum kit covered in mufflers,åÊa chest of shitty percussion toys, lots of ideas and multiple secret weapons atåÊtheir disposal.åʉÛÏShayde Sartin: the beast from out east, the thud of a heavy slow bomb‰Û_åÊthe best bass player in the Bay. Unaccredited infinite times on records thatåÊwere made better by his finely crafted skills. I can pick him out on recordsåÊinstantly.

‰ÛÏWymond ‰Û÷The Count‰۪: you can almost smell his hair on his hooks. IfåÊthere was a stage monitor in your living room his fence-climber boot wouldåÊbe on it. Wymond always has the riff that made the jets of the song take off.åÊListen and you‰۪ll see what I mean.

‰ÛÏTim Cohen: the man behind the beard. Some would say the leader. In theåÊgame as long as Bette Midler. Cohen writes great songs in his sleep, I think.åÊOnce referred to by a buddy as ‰Û÷like three weirdos in one.‰۪åÊThink of these as basement tapes, a companion to the first Fresh & OnlysåÊCastle Face release (which itself deserves another listen). I rememberåÊwatchingåÊsome of these tunes get banged out live in a sweat pit in Oakland. TheåÊsound guy so gacked out that there was no sound guy, basically.‰۝åʉÛÓJohn Dwyer, February 16th, 2015