The Measles

The Several Faces of The Manshark

Standard Recordings

My friend Tim won’t stop talking about how great The Measles’ album sounds, and how they achieved the perfect tones and vintage style recording for their twangy surf guitars, zippy drums, and Farfisa blasts. I kinda wish he’d shut up. Sure, the album sounds great, and sure, the four geeky-cool musicians are incredibly tight players, but the surf-retro-y garagey dancey Measles are so much more. Witness the hidden track, “The Psychedelibump,” where bowl-cut bassist Rob Measle boldly declares (in a backward vocal track), “Rob is dead.” This campiness is the true pulse of The Measles, whose live shows are a paean to kitsch, with matching costumes, standard-issue rock howls, overblown (yet so perfect) solos, and singer/guitarist Mike Measle spontaneously throwing himself onto the ground or into the audience or into Rob Measle.

This is not to say that The Measles don’t take things seriously, because they do-songs exploring Boogie Boarding (the kinetic instrumental “Sponge Rider”), girls (“Hold On, Hold On, Baby,” “She’s That Kind of Girl,” “Stereophonic”) and that sexy Love Boat vixen Charro (“Regallo de Charro”). But the Measles probably state it best on their stirring theme song: “The Measles! The Measles! Shake Your Ass!”