Before Suzi Quatro began her own influential career, she and her sisters—Arlene, Patti, and Nancy—were knocking down doors as the Pleasure Seekers, from the Detroit area. Sundazed Records recently reintroduced the nugget that is the band’s momentous LP, ‘What a Way to Die’. Their reissue has a much more appropriate cover art aesthetic and is pressed on pink vinyl.
‘What a Way to Die’ is a window that allows us to look back at a poignant time for rock & roll, from a unique vantage point had by a formidable and determined ‘minority’ that was itching to destroy barriers and lay foundations. Operating from a garage rock foundation, the Pleasure Seekers build their ‘sound’ by using a varied array of elements that makes attempting to pin any definitive sub-genrefication difficult to liken their music to.
Much of the material has a notable built-in psych edge. “Gotta Get Away” and “Never Thought You’d Leave Me”, open the album respectively, and they play like an acid rock go-go trip. If you couple songs with conspicuous soul, like “Light of Love”, “Good Kind of Hurt”, and “Locked In Your Love”, with blues-laced cuts like the title track and “White Pig Blues”, the distinct Motown influence can be heard coming together. On the back half, the songs move with touches of swinging jazz and psychedelia that swirls through the band’s garage-pop rock & roll atmosphere.
The audible enthusiasm in the vocal melodies throughout, and the thrill inside of the unbridled primal screams, sell the Pleasure Seekers as a sincere group of young rock & roll kids bent on staking their claim at a time, and in a scene, that would prove to be seminal and highly influential.