The Bent Backed Tulips

Picture of The Bent Backed Tulips

Looking Through...

The Bent Backed Tulips - Looking Through... ©1988 Eggbert Records
1. I Don't Know Why
2. I Think
3. Bennies Go Home
4. Come (to Meet Me)
5. Tie Me Down
6. On The Streets
7. She's Got A Right
8. Real Easy
9. Long Long Gone
10. Ooh La La
11. Another Day Away
12. Sweet Young Thing
13. Catastrophy
14. Crawling
15. Here You Are
16. Convenience Store
17. Maraschino Lies
18. TV-Made-Movie
19. Suneye
20. Too Late

During Dramarama's peak during the mid to late 80s (though technically they were on a career-long decline after the release of their debut in 1985), the band hit a prolific point where they recorded far more material than their label at the time could possibly release. As a result, some of the material saw the light of day on a small French label called New Rose Records and the band chose to call themselves The Bent Backed Tulips, a small tip of the hat to the Beatles. Naturally, the ravenous listeners of Dramarama found out about the side project and along with their fanclub-only Trash Tapes, The Bent Backed Tulips became a heavily coveted possession. Long after Dramarama's demise, Eggbert Records (an obscure American label) was kind enough to reissue the project with a ton of bonus tracks so US listeners would have a slightly better opportunity to enjoy these tracks.

Aside from the collector value, The Bent Backed Tulips also had the distinction of being highly enjoyable and representing some of the best material John Easdale and his band had come up with. A good percentage of the material is acoustic in nature, which was not too surprising since I believe a lot of the songs were written around the same time as Stuck in Wonderamaland. Although the band took on a different name, the core sound and feel of Dramarama exists throughout the CD. The acoustic tracks on the album are exceptionally well played, as the band proved they could rock out and provide emotionally satisfying acoustic pieces. The reissued version of the CD offers a handful more bonus tracks, presumably more material recorded around the time of the original Bent Backed Tulips release. Some of these songs are covers and others sound like they were culled from demos and practice tapes. However, as the Trash Tapes album proved, Dramarama is interesting whether polished up in the studio or on a practice tape.

As with every Dramarama release, Looking Through... is chock full of fantastic tunes that sound as good a decade and a half later as the day they were released. It's nearly criminal that lesser bands seem to be remembered while Dramarama has toiled in obscurity since their demise. For any fan of the band, finding Looking Through... is an immediate obligation to further the appreciation of their legacy.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/2002

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