Chemistry Set Review!


I’ve got an old 7” by this longtime/old school Seattle band and I knew they’d released other stuff but never full dug in. I like what I’d heard an here the Green Monkey label has released a double cd which I’m guessing is everything the band ever recorded (an EP, a single and some comps tracks, etc).  I’d always lumped these guys in with the Fastbacks for some reason, not sure why (maybe a common member or two?), but their sounds were totally different. The Chemistry Set, led by the two Scott,s Scott Sutherland on guitar and Scott Vanderpool on drums  plus bassist Bry Learned  (Tom Ewers and Bill Campbell played guitar and bass respectively as well). They got going in the mid 80’s and judging by the flyers shown on the inside cd cover looks they played with everyone. Their sound was more along the lines of a band like Maryland psych-poppers the Crippled Pilgrims or something (I’ve heard some Rain Parade comparisons and I hear that as well, especially on the guitar playing on a cut like “April Fools”). Some songs really jumped like the great “Hall of Mirrors” while others, like the equally strong “Blind Caroline,” the band stretched and molded the song in a different direction. 12 songs on disc one and 9 on disc two (which mostly has demos and unreleased mixes) and I have to say, most of this is really good. Kudos to the Green Monkey label for unearthing this very talented band that somehow fell under the shoe of their more famous grunge brothers and sisters, but were equally as talented.

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