The Wackers represents California power pop by way of Canada, rivalling the likes of era heroes Big Star and The Raspberries.
Written by: Eric
ARTIST: The Wackers
ALBUM: Wackering Heights
SERIAL: EKS 74098
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada, USA
LINEUP: Bob Segarini – vocals, guitar, percussion * Randy Bishop – vocals, guitar, bass, piano * Michael Stull – vocals, lead guitar, piano * William Trochim – vocals, bass, slide guitar * Spencer T. Earnshaw – drums, percussion
TRACK LISTING: 01 Travelin’ Time * 02 Body Go Round * 03 Don’t Be Cruel * 04 Country Queen * 05 Strangers * 06 Don’t Put Down The Singer * 07 I Don’t Want My Love Refused * 08 White House * 09 I Like * 10 On The Way Up * 11 Such A Good Thing * 12 No Place For the Children
WEBLINKS: Wikipedia Page
California power pop by way of Canada, The Wackers chose their moniker from a Beatles book where they found the Liverpool expression ‘Hey Wack!’ which translated meant ‘Hey Friend!’. Those of you who assumed something else in the group’s name – shame on you (!) and now that we’ve cleared that up..
The Wackers were California-born Bob Segarini who previously was part of Canadian band The Family Tree and later Roxy with vocalist Randy Bishop. Roxy were an L.A. based rough ‘n’ ready prototypical power pop outfit who released one album in 1969, but split for goofy reasons, Segarini and Bishop then moved to the beautiful Northern California community of Eureka where they began woodshedding new material.
Enter Elektra Records who insisted Segarini fulfill his contract with one last album and god-like producer Gary Usher (Celestium) offering his services. The Wackers began a three-album legacy strong enough to rival Big Star and The Raspberries.
The Wackers intent was to emulate the music of The Beatles and steer clear of the progressive rock trends that had begun to take over the music industry succeeding admirably with their first effort. The music is bright, upbeat and a little twangy at times mixing the forever influential Crosby Stills, Nash & Young into the vocal harmonies.
Opener ‘Travelin’ Time’ sounds very much like one of those Ringo Starr country-influenced cuts that dotted the Fab Four’s later work. ‘Country Queen’ is beautifully crafted psych-pop without a trace of hayseed to be found. ‘Stranger’ and ‘I Like’ are both soft and sweet with minor Mersey influences that are too gorgeous for words. Big Star followers will revel in ‘On The Way Up’ and closer ‘No Place For The Children’ with the album as a whole a completely likable set and just a taster of things to come.
For reasons that aren’t clear, Segarini found himself back in Canada – Montreal, Quebec to be exact with Usher and The Wackers where they would permanently set up shop. The follow-up album ‘Hot Wacks’ released in 1972 was a more rockin’ affair and their best most Beatle-ish album by far.
With their third album ‘Shredder’ came some line-up changes with the addition of future April Wine drummer Jerry Mercer as well as guest appearances from Brian Greenway, Frank Marino and the cast of Monty Python including John Cleese and Eric Idle.
A fourth album was partially recorded, but never finished and The Wackers were no more. Segarini stayed in Canada forming All The Young Dudes (shortened to The Dudes) with Brian Greenway and later releasing a clutch of good solo albums including 1978’s brilliant ‘Gotta Have Pop’.
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