Various Artists

Glimpses, Vols. 1 & 2

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These days, dusting off obscure old garage-psych songs by semi-forgotten bands is all the rage, but that hasn't always been the case. In the early ‘80s, when underground rock was all about post-punk and new wave, psychedelia didn't have the kind of cool cachet it would eventually possess, the delights of ‘60s rock esoterica were just beginning to be mined by adventurous archivists and curious crate-diggers. At that time, the two-volume Glimpses compilation appeared, jam-packed with the psych-slathered gems Nuggets missed a decade earlier. Thankfully, the CD reissue of Glimpses ensures that these songs won't become rarities all over again. A few of the names on Glimpses may be familiar, having appeared elsewhere on other reissues or compilations; the Dylan-circa-Highway 61 sound of Mouse & the Traps was made semi-famous by Nuggets, and the band's recordings were anthologized years later, as were those of Mystic Tide and the Baroques. The latter's two tracks turn out to be among the trippiest and most atmospheric in this collection. The most well-known band here is the Buckinghams, whose pop/rock singles were denizens of the Top 40 in the mid- to late ‘60s, but "Don't Want to Cry," the B-side to their second single, "I'll Go Crazy," is tougher and grittier than most of the tracks here, let alone the smoother side of the band's own discography. Of course, Glimpses is still dominated by artists known only to hardcore garage-psych obsessives, but upon hearing the fuzztone-guitar/reedy-organ attack of tunes by the Troyes, the Yorkshires, and the Ninth Street Bridge, it's easy to imagine some band of young upstarts receiving them like a revelation and basing their entire sound around them.

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