All Of Thus
All Of Thus (Gear Fab)
If you have never heard of All Of Thus before, you are not alone. Based in Victor, New York, the band cut just one album during their stint, which did not receive a speck of commercial promotion or attention. Simply dubbed “All Of Thus,” the album was released in 1968 on the Century label. Only 265 copies of the album were pressed, and ultimately gained the status of a serious collector’s item. Now revived onto compact disc, the rare pearl further offers the history of All Of Thus, authored by Mike Stax of Ugly Things magazine.
Although the jacket sleeve of “All Of Thus” apes “Meet The Beatles” in a roundabout way, the band was a far cry from Fab Four imitators. Comprised of lead singer, songwriter and guitarist John Johnston, bassist and vocalist Don Corbit, keyboardist and vocalist Jerry Huekensfield and drummer Barry Dagleish, All Of Thus exposed a preference for the psychedelic folk rock philosophy of The Byrds and early Love, filtered through a raggedy garage-pop edge. Raw and natural energy, as opposed to style and technique, furnishes “All Of Thus” with an enjoyable charm and innocence. The members of All Of Thus were still in high school when the album was recorded, and their youthful enthusiasm is contagious.
Jingly jangly applications are placed at a premium on the melodic kick of “She Think She Knows,” as well as “Artifical Lies,” which is executed at a bit of a slower meter and adds washes of whirring organ drills and social commentary to the track. Then there’s a cover of Pete Seeger’s “Bells Of Rhymney,” featuring a different arrangement than the initial version, not to mention a new set of lyrics. In the end, however, the giddy rendition mirrors the noted take by The Byrds, with its escalating and hypnotic harmonies that carry a hymn-like timbre.
Routed by a rebellious sneer, hippy dippy prose and rolling and tumbling piano excursions, the gripping “Rely” is pricked with a stinging acid-tinted guitar solo, and “Bye Bye Baby” is a dance floor friendly nugget, marked by shaking grooves, shouting vocals and herky jerky riffs. A punchy garage rock vibe fuels the weirdly hooky “Last Night,” and the moody atmospherics of “Kind Of A Dream” produces a strong Zombies influence. Speaking of The Zombies, “All Of Thus” contains a brash and wild remake of the British band’s “It’s All Right With Me,” that includes some real cool surf rock drumming in the mix. A haunting interpretation of Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “Walk On By” strolls in as another inspired interpretation tucked on the album.
Catchy singing, projecting a sense of power and confidence, chaperoned by unusual tempos and instrumentation, reward “All Of Thus” with an organic uniqueness to be appreciated and celebrated.
My Dad used to say to me, “No matter how bad you think you have it, there are always people who have it worse.” I think about that a lot, and it reminds me to be kind to others, especially at times when I might not be inclined to.
Dark times call for music, friendship, smiles and good memories. This is that. Wherever you are, whomever you are, there is someone who loves you and values what you bring to this life, whether you’re aware of it or not.