Serene Dominic presents… The Makeup Sects!

You could do a lot worse in 1966 and early 1967 than worship at the altar of the Rolling Stones and if anyone ever wondered what the music of Aftermath or Between the Buttons might have sounded like sung with authentic American accents, they could do no better than this Seattle quintet. Stones copyists to a man, The Makeup Sects not only purchased their orange corduroys from the same haberdasher that Brian Jones did, they made sure Jones’ bangs and muttonchops were never longer than those of their rhythm guitarist Derek Linseed’s at any given time. Sometimes that emulation ate through the band’s living funds–purchasing all the exotic instruments the blonde Stone mastered and then discarded with every new Jagger-Richard composition.

“Strength Was Always Your Weakness” is a prime example of The Makeup Sects’ slavish devotion to the bad boys of rock—fuzz bass, ghostly Chuck Berry licks, snarky lyrics about a messed up chick, simple but insistent drumming—had they remained true to these punky R&B roots, the Sects would’ve been in a very good position to usurp the genuine article, soon to abandon those very same earthy sounds for the folly of Their Satanic Majesties Request. But devotees they were to the end, following their heroes up the primrose paisley path with a disastrous psychedelic opus of their own, Demonic Renaissance Minstrels At Your Service, that all but eroded their fan base. Felled by audience disinterest and the the crippling cost of the floral arrangements for the album cover, The Makeup Sects were but a grimy memory by the end of 1968.

Needing a song about a mystical girl that could rival “Ruby Tuesday” for irrationality, The Makeup Sects whipped out their cheap recorder flutes and came up “Drop of a Hat”, a haunting ballad about a girl who thinks the undead are trying to drag her into the cold earth and imprison her as one of their own. It turns up here as a BONUS B-SIDE OF DUBIOUS DISTINCTION since the folks at Fission Records felt there were already too many songs on the pop charts tackling that subject matter already.

Download “Strength Was Always Your Weakness”/”Drop Of A Hat” here!

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