Forgotten series: Iron Butterfly, Gene Vincent, Eric Carmen, others – Garagelands Volume Two (1999)

Like its predecessor, Garagelands Volume Two (Bam Caruso Records) salutes long lost songs of the ’60s, where fuzz guitars mingle cordially with chiming tambourines and screeching harmonicas, while the drums thump and pump, choruses soar and keyboards creak, moan, groan and perform somersaults. In other words, the fun, creativity and insanity rages on!

Accurately christened, “Frustration” by the Painted Ship seethes with despairing vocals and teeth-gnashing instrumentation, giving the listener the impression the band is on the brink of smashing their gear to pieces and walking out of the studio in a huff.

Iron Butterfly’s “Evil Temptation” really does strike an awfully menacing figure, with its creepy organ passages and brooding atmospherics, Nooney Rickett’s “This Is The Time” bestows a crisp folk pop flair reminiscent of the Beau Brummels, and the Epic Spleandor’s take of Traffic’s “It Could Be Wonderful” is alive with good cheer.

A couple of tunes from the Polistryrene Jass Band, “Circus Highlights” and “Drano In Your Veins,” are so strange and chaotic that they can almost be classified as punk jazz, and from one of the granddaddies of rock and roll, Gene Vincent, there’s “Bird Doggin,’” which struts and swaggers with southern-fried hospitality.

Starring a young Eric Carmen, Cyrus Erie reveals their admiration for the Left Banke on the soft and gentle “Sparrow,” the Cascades treat us to a positively gorgeous version of Buffalo Springfield’s “Flying On The Ground Is Wrong,” and the Stereo Shoestring flip their wigs and lose their heads on the manic psychedelic rave up of “On The Road South” that shamelessly rehashes “Defecting Grey” from the Pretty Things every lick of the way.

Blending the cosmic consciousness of the Doors with the type of poise and polish the Strawberry Alarm Clock is linked with, C.A. Quintet’s “Dr. Of Philosophy” stands as a kaleidoscopic pleasure, and the Jefferson Handkerchief’s “I’m Allergic To Flowers” slips, slithers and slides with snaky Middle Eastern shapes and designs, complemented by goofy lyrics spewing subtle drug references.

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" hit No. 4 on the national charts, which is ironically, one of her favorite songs - especially the version by John Lennon. She has contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as associate editor of Rock Beat International. Her own publications have included Inside Out, and Twist And Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.