Obscure but fun
Reviewed April 2007
The Young Idea: A Pop Tribute to Anthony Meynell and Squire
By various records
Twistus3 Records: 2007
To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its Jam Recordings entry.
A tribute to a fairly obscure revival band? Only the mods could come up with such a concept and pull it off with such a fresh, fun sound.
In the late '70s and early '80s, a mod revival was reinterpreting the sounds of the mid-'60s Who and Small Faces with punk and new wave influences. While the Jam was the best-known of the mod revivalists, there were plenty of less-famous bands at the time among them one Anthony Meynell and his band, Squire. Formed in Guildford, England, in the late '70s, Squire put out a series of singles before breaking up. In 1985, Meynell moved to San Diego where he joined up with the still-booming mod revival going on here.
But by the late '80s, even mod-friendly San Diego was no longer the hub it once had been and the mod revival scene had basically died out, the once-young hip modsters grown up.
Grown up, perhaps, but still modsters at heart. San Diego's Bart Mendoza and his band, the Shambles, are among the more than a dozen bands on "The Young Idea," a new tribute to Squire. Every song was written by Meynell, and the bands range from San Diego to Australia to Meynell's native England. The production is consistently top-notch throughout, and the arrangements have that bright, sunny pop-rock sound that defines mod.
And then there's this: Meynell wrote some really terrific little pop songs. Maybe they didn't get on the mainstream charts, but there's a reason a dozen bands from around the world were willing to donate time and energy to re-recording these tunes.
Review by Jim Trageser. Jim is a writer and editor living in Escondido, Calif., and was a contributor to the "Grove Press Guide to Blues on CD" (1993) and "The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Blues" (2005).