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Obscure but fun

The Young Idea: A Pop Tribute to Anthony Meynell and Squire
The Young Idea: A Pop Tribute to Anthony Meynell and Squire
By various records

Twistus3 Records: 2007

Buy it now

This review first appeared in Turbula in April 2007.

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.