The Hombres, Let It Out (Let It All Hang Out)

Posted on August 6, 2011 by

Artist: The Hombres
Title: Let It Out (Let It All Hang Out)
Label: Verve/Forecast FTS 3036
Released: 1967
Condition: Excellent

The opening paragraph to the original liner notes read: “Take a lead guitar…put Gary Wayne McEwen behind it; set up the drums in front of James William Hunter; plus in a bass and turn it over to Jerry Lee Masters. Now line this up next to B.B. Cunningham’s organ and LET IT ALL HANG OUT!!!”

I’m assuming they meant organ as in Farfisa, but then again I can’t tell how much of this album is a joke. It opens with the title track (which peaked at number-twelve in 1967), the Dylanesque talking-blues track that vamps over the “Gloria” riff. The track itself borderlines on novelty; it’s not like the Hombres were the only band mimicking Dylan in timbre and in the stream-of-consciousness lyrics. Have you listened to Mouse & The Traps? “Let It Out” itself was pretty crafty because of how well it gathered the contemporary influences and put them together. But that’s the peak of the album.

The following track is “Little 2+2,” a strict Beach Boys car song. The song comes from the Hombres past. The Memphis-based group was once the touring version of Ronnie & The Daytonas. But after writing “Let It Out,” they must have been subterranean-homesick, because they left all the muscle cars and surf songs behind.

Track three on side A is a cover of the Everly Brothers’ “So Sad.” It’s a wonderful rendition, with the tempo slowed down and the harmonies approaching a drawl. But then the band picks it up again with a five-plus minute version “Gloria” that briefly ventures into the Byrds “Eight Miles High.” The closing track on the first side is a novelty number, “Am I High.” My answer is, “yes” if you found the song to be funny.

The B-side of the album shows the band running out of creative steam. The opening track, “Mau-Mau-Mau” is a strange little folk-rocker, but not weird enough for repeated listenings. “Sorry About That” is a spiteful version of “Wooly Bully.” Their cover of Lee Dorsey’s “Ya Ya” misses on all counts and the closing track, “It’s A Gas” is another attempt at “Let It Out” with a “Land of 1,000 Dances” na-na-na-na-na chorus. Like “Ya Ya,” it fails miserably or I’m still missing the joke.

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