We All Together
I wonder if Paul McCartney has ever heard this crazy little album, and if so, what the hell went through his mind as he was hearing it. We All Together were a Peruvian pop band that began their career as Laghonia (The Agony) and put out a couple of rock albums (popular by Peruvian standards) before changing their name and putting out two albums in a much more streamlined power pop style.
These guys probably loved the Wings album Wild Life more than anyone else in history, because they play in that early Wings style better than Wings did.
It's quite possible that all these guys did down there in Peru was sit around listening to McCartney, the Beatles, and Badfinger, because they have it down pat. Lord knows what might have happened if someone had snuck a Raspberries album down there, probably would have blown their minds.
The group sings in English with only a trace that it's not their native language, and there's nothing to really identify it as Peruvian except for the slightly parallel universe vibe that settles in the longer you listen to this album. They cover three McCartney tunes, "Bluebird" from Band on the Run and two from Wild Life, "Tomorrow' and "Some People Never Know," plus the Badfinger song "Carry On Till Tomorrow" and a bit of "Revolution" in the song "Hey Revolution."
The originals all blend in 100% with the covers, to the point where the covers just sound like more originals.
It's somewhat mind-bending to listen to this CD, because it reverses the natural flow of the universe to a space where Wild Life was Paul McCartney's biggest album and the Beatles are an influence only indirectly through Badfinger.
The cool thing is, the band is so fully in to what they're singing that they do the covers better than the original versions, which are great and some of Paul's coolest songs, but Paul is always playing his stuff for effect We All Together are true believers down to the bone. They have absolute faith in the power of power pop.
I've focused a lot on the covers, but the originals are great, and for that matter, the covers will be new to most people anyway, since Wild Life isn't exactly sitting in everyone's CD player. "Young People" begins with a great piano/bass/drums intro that is ripe for sampling great song. The production values are surprisingly good there's organ on some tracks, and strings on others. It definitely doesn't sound like it was recorded at Abbey Road, although it does sound like it was recorded immediately after listening to Abbey Road.
"Walking in the Rain" is a pretty acoustic ballad that's as plastic as McCartney, but it doesn't sound like the group thinks so. "The City Will Be Country" is a jaunty faux-fingerpickin' kind of thing, sort of in a Lovin' Spoonful or early Fleetwood Mac vein.
"Symbolic Queen" is fantastic, very Raspberries-esque. It would make a smashing track for the climax of a pretty damn weird teen movie, with its epic chord progression in the chorus. "Dear Sally" is either a parody or a ripoff of Lennon's Plastic Ono Band style, but with a bit more of a sugarcoat to it.
We All Together is well worth seeking out to anyone who is not so pure about their love of pop, especially for twisted McCartney fans like myself who pretty much prefer the less purist and less common offshoots of his material. This band was purist to the core, but there's a lack of irony to their approach that gives it a "clueless foreigner" feel all the better. I don't enjoy it for that reason, though the cheese factor is minimal and this is just really good music from a band that obviously loved what they were playing.
Visit incarock.com to order this and other South American rock albums from the same era. Once you adjust your ears, you'll start finding this even better than the real thing.
Review by Federico von Folderol