Justine — “See Saw”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock) — November 20, 2021

256) Justine — “See Saw” 

Another wistful and gorgeous song from the all-too-short lived Justine (see #200). Clem of Nazareth perfectly captures the band and the song:

Justine were short-lived and quickly forgotten, but the band did manage to put out one really charming and intoxicating record, especially if you’re one of those kind of people who love the late sixties/early seventies West Coast pop sound (which of course had more than a little psych sprinkled in it).  The more harmonic and brightly delivered parts of these songs fit that description perfectly, while at the same time the post-War influence of British folk is evident in many of the arrangements that lie embedded in between the loosely-coupled and stoned meanderings.  [T]he lovely young ladies delivering vocals seem to have taken their cues from the Mamas & the Papas, Quicksilver Messenger Service and every other band like them who surrounded themselves with paisley and patchouli until time and temperance caused them to change or fade away. . . .  “See Saw” makes it a trio of hippie folk tunes just right for a lazy summer day in a park somewhere.


Richie Unterberger opines in All Music Guide that:

At its sappiest and most cooing, it could almost pass for a Californian sunshine pop recording. What the songs lack, however, are memorable choruses, or much cohesion between the parts, although the individual parts (especially the female vocalists’ contributions) are often pretty. File under the section with the many stylistically confused rock bands of the period who had some talent and tried hard to say something important, but didn’t quite have the goods.

Uh, file under bullsh*t! When did sunshine pop become a bad thing?! This song is so memorable, I can’t get it out of my head. Richie, even great critics (and you are great) sometimes get it horribly wrong.

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