The Authentics EP is and isn’t what you might expect.
You might be expecting a bunch of veterans of 70s hit bands from Vancouver – such as Sweeney Todd – which is how they were presented. They were there, had a few years of fame and glory. They’d done it. In that sense, they were authentic, If, in concert, they played Roxy Roller, well at some degree. it was there song, they had some claim to it even if it was written by Sweeney Todd alumni Nick Gilder and James McCollouch, who aren’t part of the band. But you’d expect that hit and more in the shows.
Similarly, an EP by the band might be remakes and smell strongly of nostalgia’
Not so. The EP was made by three quarters of the See Forever Eyes Prism and Ab Bryant who was in a later incarnation of Cilliwack. Sort of the Authentics, but not the original concept.
Also, there isn’t the looking back it could have been. Bryant sings lead on Crazy Talk, a Chilliwack hit before Bryant joined the band. Flying will be known by Prism fans. There is a cover of Rod Stewart’s Gasoline Alley The rest comes from Al Harlow, who still fronts a contemporary Prism. The newer, original material suggests a band that still wants a shot.
So, if The Authentics want to be seen as vital, it’s a huge contradiction of the concept. But what else could be done? Assemble a bunch of “authentics” and make a covers album containing new versions of 50 year old hits.. It’s possible they wouldn’t touch the originals and fans probably would have them. Here, The Authentics have split the difference.
Therein lies the challenge. How to be new and old at the same time. The new wins out as Harlow’s current songs dominate and have an “authenticity” of their own. His Supergirl won’t remind you so much of Prism as The Rolling Stones’ Honky Tonk Women. Al is being true to his roots here. The cover of Gasoline Alley is respectable and somehow fits the idea.
I’ve got this as a compact disc, which indicates that it’s only possible to get it at Authentics’ gigs or via mail order. Streaming? I don’t know, but as its the main form of distribution streaming seems inevitable. As the EP shows, The Authentics are not The Antiques they could have been