reviewed the debut 7" from Oakland's So What. And by all indications, hard 'gum (aka hard bubblegum) is sweeping this nation and several others as well! Mining the gold that is the bubblegum, junkshop glam, and proto-punk sounds of the late '60s and early '70s, So What takes us back to those glorious times before discothèques were ruined by disco music.
Having already delivered a five-star debut single, So What was going to have to work really hard to top it. But I'd say the band has succeeded. A-side "Why Can't I See You Tonight" is a bona fide glam rock anthem! It's got everything you could want: big drums, dirty guitars, handclaps, a little Moog action, and perhaps the catchiest wordless chorus in the history of time. Clap your hands and stomp your feet! When I'm assembling the definitive hard 'gum compilation 30 years from now, "Why Can't I See You Tonight" will be the lead track.
On the flip of this new 7", So What pays homage to its #1 influence and covers The Equals' 1970 single "I Can See But You Don't Know". The Equals have got to be the most overlooked and underappreciated of all the classic U.K. rock bands, and it is my hope that a lot of people will start looking into their catalog because of So What. If you haven't heard the original version of "I Can See But You Don't Know", check it out now! It's an absolute ripper and a prime example of how punk rock existed well before there was a name for it. So What absolutely nails its rendition of this unheralded classic - showing great respect for the original but also adding its own essence.
"Why Can't I See You Tonight" is out on the venerable Just Add Water Records - the recently revived label run by So What singer/guitarist Jason Duncan. This release is limited to 500 copies (400 on black vinyl, 100 on yellow). Get yours from So What's Bandcamp or Just Add Water's on-line store!