Monday, November 8, 2010

VA - With The Sun In My Eyes :20 Psychedelic Spins From The UK&Europe

In his liner notes, Nick Saloman, the man behind the Bevis Frond and proprietor of Psychic Circle Records, confesses that "tracking down twenty proper, uncomped psych tracks from the UK is now no easy task," and some might suggest he's cheated just a bit on With the Sun in My Eyes. There's a difference between psychedelia and pretentious pop, and Peter Sarstedt's engagingly silly "Mary Jane" clearly belongs in the latter category, while "Hang on Baby" by the Gnomes of Zurich plays more like prog-leaning beat music, Peter & the Wolves' "Woman on My Mind" is fine folk-rock but hardly psychedelic, and "Lady Love" from the Rattles sounds like heavy metal's primitive ancestor. But folks looking for trippier stuff will find some real gems on this set, such as genuinely freaky folk from Foggy, acid-flavored heavy rock from Plastic Penny (whose rhythm section would go on to join Elton John's road band), inspired minor-key droning from Ola & the Janglers, the spooky and gleefully paranoia-inducing Youngbloods (with Cozy Powell on drums), spacy keyboard-based explorations from Giorgio Moroder (yes, Mister "I Feel Love" himself) and the epic-scale orchestral grandeur of Schadel. Saloman does a heroic job of tracking down the known facts about the artists featured on this disc in his liner notes, and while the fidelity varies throughout this disc (these tunes appear to have been lifted from vinyl for the most part), most of the tracks sound surprisingly good given their obscurity. With the Sun in My Eyes is a real treat for fans of lesser-known psychedelic rock and pop, as well as devotees of rock's more curious tributaries. ~ Mark Deming, All Music Guide

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