Southern California, and specifically the Los Angeles area, was one of the most active hotbeds of '60s garage punk, both because of its huge size and its flourishing musical and youth culture. Not all L.A. garage rock was great, and this 25-song compilation (much of which has appeared on previous vinyl garage anthologies, Pebbles included) is a good way to ferret out some of the better rare singles of the genre. Terry Randall's protest rocker "S.O.S.," the Rumors' "Louie Louie" ripoff "Hold Me Now," Byron & the Mortals' organ-driven "Do You Believe Me," the Dovers' Byrds-meets-the-Zombies "She's Not Just Anybody" -- all are among the best garage classics. Most of the rest is pretty good, if a bit generic at times. Lots of informative liner notes, too. RICHIE UNTERBERGER
Pebbles, Volume 8 is a compilation album among the CDs in the Pebbles series; it is subtitled Southern California 1. The next CD in the series, Pebbles, Volume 9 also feature bands from Southern California; while Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Volume 1, Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Volume 2, and Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Volume 3 showcase music from Los Angeles specifically. The Dovers are highly regarded in the garage rock community; this is the "A" side of their fourth single. Other Dovers songs were included on the first two LPs in the Pebbles series. "I Never Loved Her" by the Starfires is one of the most valuable garage rock singles. The Hysterics' "Won't Get Far" is included on the Pebbles, Volume 9 CD.
Terry Randall: "S.O.S."
The Gigolos: "She's My Baby"
The Starfires: "I Never Loved Her"; Rel. 1965
The Grains of Sand: "She Needs Me"; Rel. 1966
The Humane Society: "Knock Knock (Who's There)"; Rel. 1967
The Cindermen: "Don't Do It Some More ('Cause It Hurts So Good)"; Rel. 1966
The Hysterics: "Everything's There"; Rel. 1965
The Rumors: "Hold Me Now"; Rel. 1965
The Colony: "All I Want"
Byron and the Mortals: "Do You Believe Me"; Rel. 1966
The Dirty Shames: "I Don't Care"; Rel. 1966
Cloudwalkers: "Sunglasses"; Rel. 1965
The Beckett Quintet: "No Correspondence"; Rel. 1965
The Dovers: "She's Not Just Anybody"; Rel. 1966
The Roosters: "One of these Days"; Rel. 1966
The Avengers: "It's Hard To Hide"; Rel. 1966
Sean and the Brandywines: "She Ain't No Good"; Rel. 1965
The Rogues: "Wanted: Dead or Alive"; Rel. 1965
The Last Word: "Sleepy Hollow"; Rel. 1966
The Green Beans: "Don't Give Me No Friction"; Rel. 1965
The Green Beans: "Who Needs You"; Rel. 1966
The Bush: "Got Love If You Want It"; Rel. 1966
Limey & The Yanks: "Guaranteed Love"; Rel. 1966
Limey & The Yanks: "Out of Sight, out of Mind"; Rel. 1966
The Caretakers of Deception: "X + Y = 13"