BEYOND THE CALICO WALL - VA (60s psych rarities)Comp CDVoxx Records
The good people who put together this compilation set out to accomplish no less daunting a task than collecting the most bizarre and extreme underground psychedelic music recorded in the 1960's, and, for the most part, the choices seem to be right on the money.
The collection starts off with "The Trip" by Park Avenue Playground, a song that bursts out of the gate with an explosion of fuzz guitar, organ, and mad siren-like oscillating effects, coming at you from all directions, seemingly. Next up is "Suzie's gone" by Afterglow, definitely one of the weirdest singles ever. The singer moans "so...my...world...is...messed...up!" in the most detached voice possible over a staccato organ and drum part, leading to a guitar solo that soon collapses into no recognizable conventional song structure. No less amazing is "Mt. Olympus" by The Flower Power, which starts off as an innocuous and somewhat introspective sounding piece until a wild heavily chorused guitar break, which only slightly warns you of the totally anarchic feedback and free-form noise ending -- which goes on for over a minute in a 3:40 single! Then you get a bizarre sci-fi/horror tale in "The pulse" by Burritt Bradley, and an incredible reading of The Electric Prunes' "I had too much to dream last night" by Rasputin and the Mad Monks, with weird proto-techno sound effects, backwards vocals, and production effects making the backing track fade in and out, creating a disturbing sensory assault. Other highlights include "An experiment in terror" by The Greek Fountains, which is a strange polyrhythmic instrumental, and "Up in my mind" by The Spontaneous Generation, which surely has to rank as one of the most aggressive 60's psych records ever made, with waves of vibrato guitar and insistent wah wah riffing. Also worthwhile is "The electronic insides and metal complexion that make up Herr Dr. Krieg," by The Riders of the Mark, which musically isn't quite as strange as its title, but comes close! The weirdness factor decreases somewhat as the c.d. progresses, and a sloppy but straightforward cover of "In a gadda da vida" by Six Feet Under makes for a pretty uninteresting closer, but the good material here makes this an essential purchase. Buy it if you like psychedelia, experimental or Incredibly Strange Music. Robert Schell (Townsville, Texas)
20. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida - Six Feet Under