On the heels of last year's summer smash single "Ooh Baby Ooh," the greatest of all garage rock supergroups now receives the full-length treatment from the mighty and renowned Rum Bar Records. Comprised of The Dictators' Andy Shernoff, The Fleshtones' Keith Streng and Bill Milheizer, and Waxing Poetics' Paul Johnson, The Master Plan is a long-running institution of timeless rock and roll. The newly-issued compact disc Grand Cru is an absolute monster of an album — as it should be since it cherry-picks ace tracks from the band's long out-of-print LPs Colossus Of Destiny and Maximum Respect. Shernoff, Streng, and Johnson all contribute songs, and the cover selections (Family's "Second Generation Woman" and Wendy Rene's "Bar-B-Q" along with the aforementioned rave-up rendition of The Hollywood Flames' "Ooh Baby Ooh") are all formidable. The talent in this band's lineup is of course staggering. All of these players are in vintage form and perfect sync as they kick up a soul-stirring mix of doo-wop, late '50s/early '60s rock and roll, rhythm & blues, garage rock, and surf. To say that the typical Rum Bar fan will enjoy this disc would be the understatement of the year. And the timing of this release could not be more perfect: this album was made to be the soundtrack to your 2023 summertime fun. It's hard to single out individual tracks given how bulletproof this entire album is. That said, Shernoff's "14th Street" would hold its own on any oldies radio station. Streng's "I Wanna Feel Something" will definitely have you feeling something: most likely joy or excitement or momentary invincibility. Johnson's "You're Mine" kicks up enough energy to wake the dead. It's probably sacrilegious to say that "What's Up With That?" surpasses the version from The Dictators' D.F.F.D., but my ears can't lie.
Featuring exclusive original album cover art by the great Cliff Mott and packaged with a double-sided foldout poster insert, Grand Cru is a must-own package for fans of The Master Plan, Dictators, Fleshstones, and rock and roll in general. These tracks were mastered by Kurt Bloch and sound like a million bucks plus tax. This is an album to blare while you're manning the grill, drinking by the pool, partying on the beach, or driving with the windows down on a perfect summer's day. If you seek nothing more and nothing less than garage rock at its absolute finest, this is the best 13 dollars you'll ever spend.