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Kevin Robertson — Why / D.C.B.A-25
(Fruits de Mer crustacean 96, 2022, 7")

by Henry Schneider, Published 2023-03-12

Why / D.C.B.A-25 Cover art

1967 saw the release of two pivotal albums: Younger than Yesterday by The Byrds and Surrealistic Pillow by Jefferson Airplane. I was in high school then and only owned a handful of albums, including these two. The Byrds had achieved success with their Dylan covers and were now moving into new territory with this edgier album. Jefferson Airplane had just hit the charts with “White Rabbit” as well. So I found myself listening to these two albums quite a lot, the result being that I “memorized” the sounds of the songs, and that experience tends to bias my views when I encounter covers of these two bands. Case in point: Kevin Robertson of Vapor Trails, a newly discovered band for Fruits de Mer, decided to cover The Byrds’ “Why” and Jefferson Airplane’s “D.C.B.A.-25” for his first 7-inch single, accompanied by bandmates Nick Berling and Scott Robertson. Unfortunately, I cannot get the originals out of my head when listening to this single. These two songs are personal favorites of Kevin and he does an excellent job of capturing the essence of the music. Plus he wanted to do more than merely copy the style of each song, but try to make it his own with soft vocals and harmonies. He did achieve that goal, but what is missing is the gritty trippy psych of “D.C.B.A.-25” and of course Grace Slick’s recognizable vocals. I may be unfair here because of my bias, but these two covers are too smooth for my taste. Though I would imagine that younger listeners who don’t have the long history of listening to the originals will enjoy Kevin’s efforts.

Filed under: New releases, 2022 releases

Related artist(s): Kevin Robertson

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