Pssst! You, yeah, you! Lookin' for some slightly-delic sunshine pop? Well, has songwriter Tandyn Almer ever got a good strong dose for you! That’s right, Tandyn Almer… Name don't ring a bell, eh? Hmm, maybe you’ve heard one or two of his tunes like "Sail On, Sailor" by The Beach Boys or "Along Comes Mary," a Top 10 smash hit by The Association. Yeah, now you’re gettin' the picture, right?
But if that still ain't the case, it'll come through loud and clear upon listening to this new collection of fifteen previously unreleased mid-'60s demos Almer's publisher sent to potential clients. And yet it's hard to believe that the songs on Along Comes Tandyn (recorded with a number of different musicians and vocalists) are demos, since they don’t quite have the rawness typically found on demo tracks. Coming off somewhat more like a finished product, the album kicks off with the Association-like "Find Yourself." Tougher-sounding pop-rock tunes such as "You Turn Me Around" and its infectious refrain will stick to you like glue from the very first spin, while "Alice Designs" is a not-so-veiled ode to LSD. Dylan-esque folk-rock also makes a welcome appearance on "About Where Love Is," and, speaking of protest songs rockin' the folk, the album wraps up with some social commentary on the Hollywood teen riots of late '66, "Sunset Strip Soliloquy."
While some of the demos here were indeed recorded by various groups, Almer's compositions hardly struck gold. His career was sadly hampered by mental disorders and he passed away this January. This Sundazed release, with its detailed liner notes telling the full tale of Tandyn Almer, fittingly provides a testimonial to his considerable melodic talents. Available on CD and vinyl, it should appeal both to fans of Californian '60s pop and, for that matter, anyone who loves well-crafted tunes from any era.