The Underground Electrics – Hey Jude / The Generation Gap – Up Up And Away (1968)

July 20, 2013

The Underground Electrics – Hey Jude / The Generation Gap – Up Up And Away (1968)

The Underground Electrics
“Hey Jude”/The Generation Gap “Up Up And Away” (Gear Fab Records 2013)
Grab your favorite vice,
find a comfortable seat, sit back and tune your ears to two insanely
incredible  albums from the sixties!
Reissued onto one disc, both “Hey Jude” by the Underground Electrics and the
Generation Gap’s “Up Up And Away” were initially released in 1968 by low budget
labels that made a practice of producing records with faddish themes and
stamping fake group names on them. Crafted by studio musicians, who were not
handed a lick of credit, these exploitation albums tricked many a vinyl buyer
into thinking they were purchasing a mindblowing masterpiece by the latest and
greatest acid rock advocates to hit town. Despite the shady policy surrounding
such ventures, a fair share of them were excellent and just as intriguing and
inventive as anything contemporary cracked geniuses like the West Coast Pop Art
Experimental Band, the Electric Prunes and the Strawberry Alarm Clock were
coming up with.
Armed with a sleepy drawl,
the lead singer of the Underground Electrics apparently can’t decide whether he
wants to be Elvis Presley, Jack Bruce of Cream or the most exaggerated blues
vocalist ever captured on tape. Dominated by tracks so heavy they threaten to
break the disc right in half, “Hey Jude” trembles, tumbles and thuds to an
amazingly dumbfounding wall of noise. Guitars squealing with pain, thrashing
drums and rumbling keyboards rig the repertoire. Pounding rhythms, rolling with
intensity, power “Standing At The Crossroads,” which is perhaps the strongest
effort on the set, while “The Syndicator,” “Dust My Blues,” “Boogie Chillen”
and “Dark And Dreary” further command special attention. The title cut of the
sludge-oriented album is a cover of the chart-topping Beatles song, and is so
badly butchered that it’s brilliant. Performed at snail’s pace, the Underground
Electrics turn “Hey Jude” into a cringe-worthy blend of redneck hell and
pseudo-gospel pop rock. Loaded and bloated with hard rocking hilarity, with a
thick accent on the blues, here’s a record fans of Steppenwolf and Blue Cheer
are sure to love.
The Generation Gap’s
album duly kicks off with a perfectly pleasant version of the Fifth Dimension’s
bright and bushy-tailed “Up Up And Away,” which pretty much dictates the tone
of the rest of the disc. A flowery pop element houses the material, attended by
springy melodies and occasionally quirky arrangements. “Strange Shadows,” “Hard
Times” and “Make Up Powder And Paint” key in as the best of the lot, along with
the buzzing “On The Run” and “Fool’s Luck,” an instrumental rife with pumping
jamming. Combining snippets of jazz and easy listening maneuvers with designer
psychedelic motifs, “Up Up And Away” may lean towards the light and cheesy side
of the road, but still contains enough bouts of weirdness to keep the customer

Review made by Beverly

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