Rock 'n' roll has always subsisted on fads. The Surf Sound. The British Beat. Dance Music. Party Music. And now in the early '80s there is a new fad -- the Fad Sound (as in, imitating fads of the past).
"Hi, we're the Raybeats from New York City. And we're a dance band," the keyboardist proclaimed at the start of last night's show at the 9:30 club. Then, with a Venture's guitar twang, a James Bond movie bass line, a Dave Clark Five sax blast and a pounding Beach Boy beat, the Raybeats proceeded to ape nearly every rock instrumental style of the past 20 years.
Their sound featured a veritable plethora of pastiches -- "Wipe Out," drum intros, shrill, electric organ chords and reverb-ed, vibrato-ed guitar solos were all set to beats that bypassed the mind and soul and went straight for the feet.
Dressed in iridescent gray suits and cross-over ties and dancing about like a group of crazed marionettes, the Raybeats presented a show that was slick, smooth and witty. The music was wild at times and amateurish -- but in the most professional of ways. They were a hilarious reminder of every rock musician's first group back in Mom and Dad's garage, dishing it out for the neighborhood cuties.