The latest example of Greek rock coming to our non-hellenic shores is the new project from producer Andy Dragazis.
Best known for his work in the band Blue States, Dragazis has created a fake band called the Scantharies (a pun off the Greek work for “beetles”) and created a concept album surrounding them.
It follows the story of an instrumental rock band playing music influenced by the Greek garage rock scene of the 60s and 70s. Funny that you can make a rock concept album that is entirely instrumental, but Dragazis pulls it off.
The record evolves from jaunty guitar-driven surf-rock to more moody, atmospheric songs clearly influenced by traditional Greek Rebetiko music, culminating with the funereal track, “The Cross” (which ties into the parallel religious theme that also travels throughout the album).
It’s a neat project, and apparently Dragazis is putting a group of young Greeks together to play the music live. So if they make it to your town, make sure to raise a glass of ouzo to celebrate this funhouse mirror look at the history of Greek pop music.
ERIC J. LAWRENCE