Various Artists

Electric Psychedelic Sitar Headswirlers, Vol. 3

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The third volume of this series might be a smidgen less cheesy than its two predecessors. It's still mixed-bag vintage raga-rock, bypassing the genuinely excellent efforts in this regard by major artists in favor of 18 tracks by mostly unknown groups. Again the focus is global, more oriented toward the U.S. and U.K. than anywhere else, but also throwing on bits from Japan, Sweden, Australia, Denmark, and Germany. The Amboy Dukes, Strawberry Alarm Clock, and Them (in their post-Van Morrison incarnation) are the only hitmakers here, and neither of those three groups could be considered either great bands, or ones that were particularly adept at Indian-psychedelic fusion. Much of this is so-so and infused with dated trendiness that's about as authentically exotic as a stick of incense burning in an upscale boutique, but there are some fairly fun and/or decent numbers. The Mops' "Anthem" (from Japan) is a must for those who enjoy vocal phonetics unfamiliar to the English-speaking ear in a '60s psychedelic rock arrangement; Truth's "Thoughts" has an early Jefferson Airplane-like verve in its male-female harmonies; from Germany, Krokodil's "Sunlight's Beautiful Daughter" has a light psych-folk-rock touch faintly reminiscent of a band like Country Joe & the Fish at their gentlest; and Train's "Dreams and Realities" seems more similar to David Ackles than Ravi Shankar.

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