Friday, November 13, 2009

VA - Psychedelic States - Texas In The 60's, (2003)

Outside the confines of the California state line, Texas had arguably the most significant -- and unconventional -- psychedelic circuit in the whole of '60s America, tied up as it was with Tex-Mex border music, modified country accouterments (as evidenced by the 13th Floor Elevators' electrified jug), and that vast, boiling wasteland of oil derricks, longhorn cattle, good ol' boys, and, undoubtedly, a particularly potent genus of psychotropic cactus. This first Texas edition in Gear Fab's ongoing Psychedelic States series scales back on the number of songs (just 18 this time around) and also, for the first time since the initial volume in the series, includes a number of recordings from relatively well-known artists (Roy Head, with an awesome, if uncharacteristic, rave-up) and bands (Bubble Puppy, which had a 1969 Top Ten hit with "Hot Smoke and Sassafras") that have previously been compiled on past LPs. The album benefits from both circumstances. This is by a far shot the leanest, meanest, and most consistently strong collection of the series since that cornerstone original volume. It is, in fact, positively gushing with an abundance of smokin' acidified garage rock. The completely deranged "You Knock Me Down" by unknown Houston band Airhead is the only brown acid here. Recorded in 1966, the song sounds, through the amateurish recording quality, like Guns N' Roses on a nightmarish bender. (Seriously.) Perhaps manna for some, but not likely for the average consumer of a psych compilation. Once you get past said caterwauling, though, the rest of the album is pure contact high. Particularly heady are Michael's "Caretaker," the Countdown 5's "Candy," both Bubble Puppy tracks (neither of which appeared on its album, A Gathering of Promises), A440's "Marenthelia Glows in the Dark," and the Roky Erickson-ish "Don't Be That Way" by the Reasons Why. But this volume is pretty outstanding from one side of the high to the other
1. Elastic Prism - Time Change
2. The Glass Kans - Stick With Her
3. Euphoria - Oh Dear, You Look Like A Dog
4. The Pastels - Yeah I Wanna Know
5. Michael - Caretaker
6. The Countdown 5 - Candy
7. Elastic Prism - I Would Have Liked You Anyway
8. Bubble Puppy - Secrets Of The Golden Shrine
9. A-440 - Marathelia Glows In The Dark
10. The Nomads - Situations
11. The Reasons Why - Don't Be That Way
12. Airhead - You Knock Me Down
13. The Persian Market - Shine My Monkey
14. The Crabs - Bye Bye My Little Girl
15. Roy Head - You're (Almost) Tuff
16. Pure Jade Green - How's He Gonna Find Me
17. Bubble Puppy - Keep Your Mouth Shut Once In A While
18. Neal Ford & The Fanatics - She Is All There Is
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