Maundy Quintet, Fewdle Lords, Cosmic Camel + others, Psychedelic States: Florida in the ’60s Vol. 4 (2015)

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Since 1997, Roger Maglio’s Gear Fab label of Littleton, Colorado, has been releasing compilation albums featuring insanely obscure bands from the ’60s. 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 and the Sounds presents a super-catchy melody and is enhanced by a shimmering shot of Middle Eastern motifs. From the Sweet Young Things, there’s “I Remember” which pinches its pulsating pitch from the Who’s “I Can’t Explain.”

The Certain Amount flaunt a 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 that British band’s heralded pop art offering is “Painter Man” by the Non-Pariels, which blends trippy Beatlesque harmonies with raga rock workouts to agreeable effects. Speaking of the Beatles, the (Fab) Phatoms deliver a sure-fire Mersey-minted classic with “I’ve Got That Feeling,” a song 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 and 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 chorus, “We’re the Vandals” features guitarist George Terry, who later hooked up with Eric Clapton. “Hands are Only to See” by the Bitter Ind, designed of inventively odd tempo changes, boasted Butch Trucks Jr. on drums. He’d soon found worldwide fame with the Allman Brothers Band.

Totaling 26 tracks, Psychedelic States: Florida in the ’60s Vol. 4 actually caters to the teen garage rock sounds of the era rather than acid-drenched dementia as its title suggests. 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 score.

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 contributions are an important part of musical history.

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

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