Friday, May 26, 2023

Various: An Overdose Of Heavy Psych (Authentic Way Cool Sixties Artifacts) 1996

What sets this apart from the many other similar '60s garage-psych releases is the extremeness of the


music. Tracks collected here feature grungier guitars, slower or varied tempos and darker and more ominous atmosphere than earlier punk singles...and more fuzz and heavier feedback (even the occasional oscillator). These tracks were typically cut later than many of the other garage-band compilation series, and influences are second generation bands like Steppenwolf, Blue Cheer, Love, and the Stooges. While poppier sounds are eschewed on these sides, according to the liner notes these heavier slabs are the flip sides of lighter material.


If the ballads on garage comps are the ones you skip over, by all means pick up a copy of this won't be disappointed. An extra bonus are six caveman-stomping cuts by the Boneheaded 31 Flavors, originally from two low-budget psych-sploitation albums on the Crown label. The Dose series along with the 2 Calico Wall volumes are compiled by Erik Lindgren (of Birdsongs of the Mesozoic/ Space Negros fame).


Those comps are so impeccably sequenced, the song selection so faultless, they're a wonder to behold. As good as the Nuggets/Pebbles were, Lindgren's comps fly above and beyond. What Tim Warren is for 60s punk, is what Lindgren is for psychedelic music. After the heavy psych bliss of the first three tracks, the tunes shift towards the garage spectrum (peaking with The Fumin' Humins). The psychedelic sequence from 6 to 9 is particularly mind-blowing, maybe the pinnacle of the series' 4 volumes (and that's saying a lot).


What follows is a streak of garage tunes, some of which are amazing (Search Your Soul), and then the epitome of garage/psych in You're in My Mind and Salem Witch Trail. Then it's heavy psych all the way, certainly the longest and heaviest streak of the series. The Glass Sun's Silence of the Morning is my favorite, but as far as sheer protometal heaviness, no one in the whole 60s rivals No Tomorrows from The Firebirds/The 31 Flavors' face-melting suite.


Once again, compiler Erik Lindgren has outdone himself, pulling all the stops for this outrageous collection of top tier psychedelic singles. I may be slightly prejudiced, as I own most of these records myself, but there can be little denying that they represent some of the best the genre has to offer. My only complaint is the total lack of noise reduction technology used here.


One other very interesting aspect to this comp, is that this is the ONLY place to find the unseparated, original version of "Free Bass", "Free Fuzz", and "Free Drums", which were, of course, recorded as one track originally, but split into the three titles listed for inclusion on the Firebirds and 31 Flavors albums released in 1969.


They are manually edited together, taken from original vinyl and not master tapes, so it's not a perfectly seamless edit. Apparently, the 31 flavors album had slightly different stereo biasing, which is noticeable when faded from the Firebirds track. And again, the vinyl copy used for this purpose sounds particularly noisy. But these are minor complaints, and well worth putting up with for the collection as a whole. Whew! Pretty amazingly consistently fabulous, in my opinion.

Various – An Overdose Of Heavy Psych
Label: Arf! Arf! – AA-063
Format: CD, Compilation
Country: US
Released: 1996
Genre: Rock
Style: Garage Rock, Psychedelic Rock


01. Orange Wedge – From The Womb To The Tomb    2:48
02. Quiet Jungle – Everything    2:30
03. Twentieth Century Zoo – You Don't Remember    2:50
04. Fumin' Humins – Relative Distance    3:12
05. Powered By Love – Powered By Love    2:19
06. Crystal Rain – You And Me    2:35
07. ESB – Mushroom People    2:50
08. Colder Children – Memories    2:11
09. Kollektion – Savage Lost    2:32
10. Kindred Spirit – Blue Avenue    2:43
11. Blu-erebus – Plastic Year    3:26
12. Shadows Of Time – Search Your Soul    2:58
13. Graf Zeppelin – You're In My Mind    2:41
14. Kiriae Crucible – The Salem Witch Trial    2:51
15. Boston Tea Party – My Daze    2:22
16. Paraphernalia – Watch Out    2:31
17. IRA – Dooley Vs. The Ferris Wheel    2:54
18. Loose Endz – Easy Rider    3:19
19. Glass Sun – Silence Of The Morning    5:08
20. Firebirds – Reflections    5:26
21. Firebirds – No Tomorrows    4:59
22. Firebirds – Gypsy Fire    4:38
23. Firebirds – Free Bass    2:27
24. The 31 Flavors – Free Fuzz    2:14
25. The 31 Flavors – Free Drum    3:08

MP3 @ 320 Size: 193 MB
Flac  Size: 468 MB