The Bush – Got Bush If You Want It!

The Savage Young Bushmen Of Rialto, 1965-66

Here’s another one of those worn-out stories about a local act gaining an almost God-like status within the neighborhood, while kinda remaining in the “bushes” outside of the fence. On the other hand, a fact not so usual is that there’s at least one song, significant enough to secure them a place on a Nuggets type of a map, usually being made some twenty years or so upon the band’s actual existence.

As for this particular bunch of young Bush-men from Southern California, off the three singles they managed to release, there are no less than two nuggets that make them stick out of the “bushes”. The first one is the debut 7” b-side Feeling Sad And Lonely, which is a “smokestack” of a punk jangler, while the other one is the Kim Fowley produced fuzz-fest To Die Alone, which is among those yet to be out-punked.

Sure enough, during their several visits to studios, a coupla more numbers worth an attention were put to tape, showing a garage-punk-band still in it’s making, evolve from an innocent Mersey-ish teen sound of Gonna Treat You Bad already suggesting their future attitude, or the Brummels-like folk-rocking jangle of Hard To Find, through a bit moodier I Want Your Love, already throwing in an almost out-of-place punked-up bridge.

And a couple of bluesier, but just as punk-ish numbers such as I’m Wanting Her and I Feel Good, all the way to their last single’s quirky little sunny side, Who Killed The Ice Cream Man?, “conceived as a slam against some of the novelty tunes” of the time, eventually becoming “an example of the very genre they’d set out to slam”, thanks to the producer’s self-initiated overdubs of trombone, whistles, duck calls, and even the sound of a tractor itself.

Thanks to singer Steve Hoard’s own archive, besides all of the professional studio sessions, also included are some rehearsal recordings, mostly made of covers, as well as just an occasional original, such as Sit Down, Shut Up (Don’t Talk), which is another r’n’b “animalism”.

We’ve always had The Bush, want it or not, but it’s good to have another tangible evidence to back it up.

[Released by UT 2006]

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