No Way Out
was The Chocolate Watchband’s debut album, that enjoyed success in the United States and the United Kingdom. Formed in 1965, the band were essentially a Garage Rock band from San Jose, much like Count Five
. Now known as an essential Punk album, No Way Out is one of the best debut releases I have ever heard.
The band’s sound is similar to that of bands like Count Five
, The Rolling Stones
, and Jefferson Airplane
. In fact, The Chocolate Watchband were the main competitors for The Rolling Stones
in the late 1960s.
The album shows the band’s versatilities in terms of different styles. You will hear songs that sound like early Rolling Stones music, Psychedelic Instrumentals, and the band’s takes on R&B standards. One of my favorite tracks of the album “Dark Side of the Mushroom” is one of the aforementioned instrumentals. The sneering vocals do indeed call to mind the sounds of The Rolling Stones, but with a flare that is completely different. This is most evident to me in the song “Are You Gonna Be There (At The Love-In)”. And what Psychedelic recording would be complete without tons of reverb and fuzzed out guitars? There is plenty of that to find here.
The drums on this album really stand out and pull you right into the song. When you really listen to this album, it takes you places. You get enveloped in the drums and sounds of the Sitar. The sound just seems to wrap around you, and holds onto you. The songs stay with you, making you listen to the entire thing, and enjoy it.
Elements of R&B, Psych, Surf Rock, and the sound of the British Invasion all come into this album and get melted into the Band. That is the sound of The Chocolate Watchband. If you are a fan of music, you will indeed find this album to be inviting. I feel that there is almost something for everyone on this album, as long as you have an open mind. The guitar work is some of the best I have heard on an album. It sounds really unique, and doesn’t repeat itself ever. It is always changing, and keeps you interested.
The only complaint I have about this album, is the songs are generally pretty short. The highest it goes up is 4:29. And the longest song is one of the weaker ones in my opinion. Still though, an excellent album, that I’m sure a lot of you will like.