Various Artists "Psychedelic States: Florida In The 60s Vol. 4" (Gear Fab Records, 2015)
Since 1997, the Gear Fab label, which is located in Littleton, Colorado and run by Roger Maglio, has been releasing compilation albums featuring insanely obscure bands from the sixties. Each installment celebrates a particular state, and the most recent package marks the fourth volume of Florida bands. As is the tradition with previous collections, "Psychedelic States: Florida In The 60s Vol. 4" also includes photos and information on the bands.
Preaching the gospel of peace, love, and tolerance, the wisely titled "Love Your Fellow Man" by Sir Michael & The Sounds presents a super catchy melody and is enhanced by a shimmering shot of Middle East motifs. From the Sweet Young Things, there's "I Remember" that pinches its pulsating pitch from the Who's "I Can't Explain," where the Certain Amount flaunt their fondness for the Zombies in a fine way on a frisky remake of "Is This The Dream." Obviously bearing no connection to the Police song of the same name, "Message In A Bottle" from A Quest shivers and shakes to a heavy-handed hurling of wild Jimi Hendrix styled fretwork and soul-stained vocals. Not to be mistaken for the Creation tune, but nearly just as good as the British band's heralded pop art offering is "Painter Man" by the Non-Pariels that blends trippy Beatlesque harmonies with raga rock workouts to agreeable effects. Speaking of the Beatles, the (Fab) Phatoms deliver a surefire Mersey-minted classic with "I've Got That Feeling" that would have fit nicely on John, Paul, George, and Ringo's "Please Please Me" album.
Before Carlo Driggs hit the jackpot with bands like Kracker, Foxy, and Paul Revere and the Raiders, he played drums in Dave & The Wanderers, whose power popping "My Heart Is In Pain" has only been available as a demo all these years. Driven by danceable rhythms and a cheery frat rock flavored chorus is "We're The Vandals" from the Vandals, whose guitarist George Terry later hooked up with Eric Clapton. Designed of inventively odd tempo changes, "Hands Are Only To See" by the Bitter Ind boasted Butch Trucks Jr. on drums, who soon found worldwide fame with the Allman Brothers.
Totaling twenty-six tracks, "Psychedelic States: Florida In The 60's Vol. 4" actually caters to the teen garage rock sounds of the era rather than acid-drenched dementia. Untrained and untamed, but quaking with enthusiasm, the bands heard on the disc relied on little more than a few standard chords to carry their songs, while roller rink keyboards and thrashing drums complete the scene. Rock and roll was meant to be fun and simple, and "Psychedelic States: Florida In The 60s Vol. 4" ideally illustrates the right attitudes and motives behind the efforts of these bands whose hearts were true and whose contributions are an important part of musical history.
Review made by Beverly Paterson/2015
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