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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 satisfied.

Review made by Beverly Paterson/2013
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2013

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