Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Mystic Tide - Solid Sound Solid Ground ( 1965-67)

JOE DOCKO gtr, ld vcls 
PAUL PICELL bs, vcls 
JIM THOMAS gtr, vcls 

One of the truly great 1960s garage classics, this leaps out of the speakers and grabs you from the word go, then proceeds to turn the heat up yet several more notches with a supercharged guitar break that was unbelievably unhinged and over-the-top by 1966 standards.

Out of the Woodbury suburb of New York City, this band made some outstanding recordings. They started life combining their own compositions with Them, Searchers and Zombies originals. 
They went very much against the tide of most Long Island bands, who were heavily into soul. By early 1966 they were becoming more adventurous. 
For their second 45, they covered a Them song, Mystic Eyes. 
Indeed, this slow punk ballad was party responsible for their name, as their leader Joe Docko liked it so much. 
Their third 45 was their magnum opus. 
Frustration was a haze of dementia with superb guitar leads from Docko. 
They played 10 minute versions of it live and each was different. 
The flip, Psychedelic Journey Pt 1 was a stunning psychedelic instrumental which once again contained some superb guitar playing from Docko. The song continued on the flip to their fourth 45, which featured fine discordant clashing guitars and a striking ending. After this Jim Thomas left and they continued as a trio for one final effort:- Mystery Ship, another punk ballad - a tale of death and the futility of life, backed by the more optimistic, You Won't Look Back. This lacked the 'fullness' of sound of their previous two, now they were only a trio. 

The Mystic Tide released a total of five singles between the years 1965-1967 and they are all nearly impossible to find now. 
The recent Distortions retrospectives include all their 45s plus an early effort, I Wouldn't Care, a gentle Merseybeat-influenced song. The later CD release includes seven extra tracks.
They are now considered to be one of the best garage/psychedelic groups to come out of Long Island. 

1 Stay Away/Why (Esquire 4677) 1965 
2 Mystic Eyes/I Search For A New Love (Esquire 719/720) 1966 
3 Frustration/Psychedelic Journey Pt 1 (Solid Sound 156/7) 1966 
4 Running Through The Night/Psychedelic Journey Pt 2 (Solid Sound 158/9) 1967 
5 Mystery Ship/You Won't Look Back (Solid Sound 321/2) 1967 

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