("a major band" - Pulsebeat; "classic psychedelia by any standards" - Freakbeat; "One of the strongest bands in the genre" - Knights of Fuzz)
Q: If you had the chance to play a gig at any place or time, where and when would you choose? A: The Fillmore West, with Jefferson Airplane opening for us. (from interview in Freakbeat #7, 1990)
The Not Quite were a critically acclaimed 60's revival band that flourished in Ct. for over a decade. The group was formed by Dark Lord Rob and featured 60's style pop/rock, with the Kinks and Who as the guiding influence. The addition of Tom Donnelly (drums) and Morrie McCarthy (guitar) gave the group a new power, and a more psychedelic sound emerged ( though psych material had been part of the group from the get-go). Soon an album was released on the Dutch Resonance label, garnering some small measure of critical acclaim ("A major band" -- Art Black). This album is now considered a classic of sorts in European garage rock circles. The group further evolved with the edition of Colleen Crane on keyboards, and the sound grew darker, more ominous. (I don't know where I found this but it's a pretty accurate summary).
The first LP of the Not Quite is an 80s garage classic, capturing the essence of the 60s and adding some very well written songs with superb playing and strong melodies. It took ages to complete and it features the songwriting skills of Dark Lord Rob, Morrison McCarthy and Joe Guidone (who shortly after its release left the band) and ... here's what Rob himself says about it:
The album, which got some excellent reviews ("A major band." - Pulsebeat) was a good cross-section of our best material at the time, and (once again, in my opinion, which is a considered opinion that is rarely considered), some of the tracks are among the best in the neo-garage genre. Specifically? Joe's garage-busters "Just Like Us" and a re-recorded "Paint Me in a Corner", Morrie's terrific ballad "I Don't Know How to Tell You" (a holdover from his Modern Look days), and a number by Tom (here's a joke: what was the last thing the drummer said before he was kicked out of the band? "Hey guys I wrote a song.") that Rob added the lyrics to that wound up being called "Get Away" (and which was an amusing [to us] dig at Morrie's then-current romantic situation). However, earlier, rejected lyrics (also by Rob) are worth quoting: "Went to a party last night/ Woke up face down on the floor/ Nun's habit on the bed post/ Mother Superior at the door/ Now, sometimes I'm really a nice guy/ Sometimes I'm really swell/ But getting caught in bed with a naked nun/ Is a one-way ticket to hell/ (spoken) I may be bad/ But she was good."
Other highlights included a well-regarded cover of the Masters Apprentices' "War or Hands of Time" (also on the "Declaration of Fuzz" compilation) and some psychedelic Rob tunes, "Fickle Wind" and "Mushroom People". The other Rob track, "You're Gonna Need Me" isn't quite successful but has some nifty lyrics and a bass run exactly like Green Day's later "Live Without Warning" (both are actually derivitive of the Kinks' "Picture Book", so if anyone has a case for complaint it's Ray Davies). The album did OK overseas, we're told, and even charted in Spain and Greece (we're told), but failed to push us into the forefront of the garage scene. It's long out of print but has a reputation as an underrated classic of the genre (I'm told). To its detriment, I believe, was its crisp production (by us) which was possibly too slick compared to the more raw production then in favor. But that same production makes the material sound much better now than some of its contemporaries.
Not Quite recorded another album (Having A Grunge -Fest With The Not Quite) which remains unreleased, and they had their last LP released on Voxx (...Or The Beginning, 1990), with Colleen Crane's keyboards and a much darker psychedelic sound.
You must visit Rob's American Entropy Productions, "an unimaginably thrilling endeavor which is dedicated to bringing some of the wildest films imaginable to shambling cinematic life! " and also his very detailed history (and prehistory) of the Not Quite. Very enjoyable!