Of all the garage revival records you can buy, for my money, the five songs contained on the Crawdaddys' 1980 EP, 5 x 4, is the best you can get. Apologies to The Tell-Tale Hearts' Too Many Lovers/Promise single and The Chesterfield Kings' first album, Here Are The.... (check out a great song by song article about that album here and here.)
The Crawdaddys' 1979 debut album on Voxx records was amazing, but it was lacking in originals. That problem was remedied with the band's subsequent release in August of 1980. Four of the five songs contained on this EP are originals. Specifically, written by guitarists Steve Potterf and Ron Silva (far left and far right, respectively, in the sleeve above.) The lone cover on the EP, Pretty Face, is an excellent cover of The Beat Merchants 1964 song, which never saw a release in the US.
Today we'll feature the first song on the Flip-Side of the EP, I Can Never Tell. Kick-ass bass thumping along, wailing harmonica and a time change replete with yelps make this the standout on the perfect EP. The Crawdaddys would release one more single with this line-up and then the band would start changing line-ups and musical styles quicker than a teenage girl can go through emotions. Jack Lopez, Peter Miesner, Fred Sanders, Carl Rusk and Mike Stax would all appear in the band at some point. Ultimately, Ron Silva and Carl Rusk formed the Nashville Ramblers and Mike Stax (and later, Peter Miesner) formed the aforementioned Tell-Tale Hearts.
If you want to learn more about the Crawdaddys and the San Diego garage scene that spawned the Crawdaddys, Nashville Ramblers, Tell-Tale Hearts, Town Criers, Morlocks and Gravedigger V, check out the excellent blog, The Che Underground.
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side.