Orgone Box – Centaur (1996; 2014 reissue)

Just think of all the great music we would be robbed of, if records were given only one chance — and that chance being at the time they were originally released. So thank goodness for reissues, and that points us towards Orgone Box’s Centaur, which initially came out in 1996 but has recently been revived by Kool Kat Musik.

Helmed by singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Rick Corcoran, Orgone Box also entails the talents of Maria Callaghan on vocals, Tim McTighe on bass, keyboards and cello, and Tam Johnson on drums. Sounding like Raspberries or Big Star would have sounded like had they been enamored with psychedelic hoodoo, rather than resurrecting the specter of radio-ready pop rock circa 1965, Orgone Box birthed a spellbinding set of blinding beauty that captures the key ingredients of the genre with dignity and grace.

Encased in spooky atmospherics, laced with furry fuzz guitar riffs, the Pink Floyd-ish “Mirrorball (When I Want To Feel)” shivers with mystique, the sunny “Find The One You Love” could pass as a track off John Lennon’s Mind Games album, and the bleary-eyed “Bubble” sparkles and jingles to a trippy trail of wiggly rhythms and tempo changes. Formed of monster hooks, delicious harmonies, and catchy motions at every turn, “Ticket With No Return” and “Judy Over The Rainbow” are worldclass paisley-pinched pop pastries, and “Anaesthesia” swirls and swells with the kind of supernatural sensibilities associated with the best of the style.

Freaky effects intertwined with phased vocals, not to mention adventurous songwriting and instrumentation, make Centaur the quality psychedelic album that it is. Taking the finest fibers of the Beatles during their day-glo fixation, particularly Revolver and Magical Mystery Tour, as well as imprints from “S.F. Sorrow” by the Pretty Things, then pumping their own neat and novel nuances into the file, Orgone Box produced a disc any true blue psychedelic fan will fall madly in love with.

Beverly Paterson

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