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Tidal Waves


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The Tidal Waves were a quintet from the Detroit area made up of Bob Slap, Bill Long, Mark Karpinski, and Tom and Jon Wearing.
The group was part of a vibrant southern Michigan band scene that also included acts like the Pleasure Seekers, the Underdogs, the Unrelated Segments, and the Rationals, as well as a younger and punkier Bob Seger, playing clubs like the Hideout, the Crows Nest, the Hullabaloos (actually a chain of clubs), the Fifth Dimension, and the Pumpkin scattered around the southern part of the state.
The Tidal Waves were actually among the best of them, despite their youth (three of them were in junior high when they started out in 1965). They had a hard, aggressive attack on their instruments (which, surprisingly for a band as punk sounding as this one, included a saxophone, Γ  la the Kingsmen), three strong (if not necessarily "good") singers, and a good sense of melody and what to do with it. Their debut single, "Farmer John" b/w "She Left Me All Alone," was recorded in January of 1966 and made number one on the local charts in Detroit later that year. The group, with some lineup changes (Dennis Mills came in on guitar, and also wrote their third single "Action! (Speaks Louder Than Words)"), released two more singles before calling it quits in 1967. Six of their songs were reissued by Collectables in 1998 paired off with the music of the Unrelated Segments on a CD called Where You Gonna Go?. As amazingly, good as the Segments' stuff is (and it is), the Tidal Waves are even better, with a sound vaguely similar to the early Who (check out the guitar break on "She's My Woman" and see if it doesn't remind you of "The Good's Gone"). The only pity is that they never charted nationally -- SVR's limited local distribution made that impossible to accomplish -- and didn't leave behind enough for a full album. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi


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