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The New York band Sidetrack recorded a demo album in the late '60s that never found release until finally getting issued in 2006 on CD. Many such relics from the time did not find release, at least in part, because of substandard production and sound quality. This is not the case with this would-be LP, which is quite professionally recorded and performed. One imagines that little or no extra work would have been required to ready it for commercial availability, and it's been reported that Elektra was indeed interested in adding the band to its roster, though nothing by Sidetrack appeared on the label. That doesn't necessarily mean, however, that Elektra should have released it, or that the album's failure to surface was such a great loss. The material's in a middling if largely non-indulgent psychedelic vein, chiefly distinguished from many other such average outfits by varied keyboards (piano, organ, and electric harpsichord) with a touch of classical influence. Perhaps there's a bit of Left Banke to some of the arrangements, though with heavier instrumentation, far less pop hooks, and rather wan or absent vocal harmonies (the greatest deficiency in terms of the production). Untypical of the record, which largely sticks to tracks between two and four minutes in length, is an 11-minute psychedelic instrumental that almost sounds like a baroque derivation of the kind of mood the Paul Butterfield Blues Band created on their classic "East West." Not quite as untypical, though one of the better tracks, is the short acoustic ballad "Blues for Matthew," which closes the record.

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