Mark Barkan was a member of a Philadelphia-based folk-rock band called the Deep who cut an album in the summer of 1966 called Psychedelic Moods; while the album didn't do much in the marketplace, it gained a cult following, in part because it was one of the first albums to bill itself as psychedelic music, and though the Deep disbanded shortly after the album was released, Barkan was eager to make another record following the same path. Barkan formed a new group, Inner Sanctum, assembled from a team of New York actors and musicians who had staged a rock adaptation of The Beggars' Opera off-Broadway. Barkan and Inner Sanctum cut seven tunes during an April 1967 demo session, but were unable to secure a record deal; more than four decades later, the Inner Sanctum tapes have finally been released by Cicadelic Records as Psychedelic Moods, Pt. 2: Journey Thru Inner Space. Since the Inner Sanctum demos had a playing time of less than 15 minutes, Cicadelic have paired them up with 15 tunes from Sunset Love, a New Mexico-based folk-rock combo who cut an album for a tiny Texas label in 1968, through it wasn't released until 1995 as part of Collectables' History of Texas Garage Bands series. Seeing that Sunset Love had no connection to Inner Sanctum or the Deep, and Inner Sanctum were only tenuously linked to the Deep (whose leader and prime creative force was Rusty Evans, not Barkan), there's no real reason why this collection should be billed as Psychedelic Moods, Pt. 2, unless Cicadelic is trying to take advantage of less discerning garage/psych collectors. From a musical standpoint, both groups are solid if not particularly striking; Sunset Love's folk-psych is decidedly sunnier and dominated by sweet harmonies and upbeat pop melodies, while Inner Sanctum's material is more dynamic and leans more to a outwardly trippy effect, though neither band is likely to excite psych purists and Inner Sanctum's British music hall parody "The Man Who Shot Your Mother" is just short of ridiculous. Obsessive fans of mid-'60s garage and psych stuff will find this worth a listen, but anyone expecting a true sequel to the Psychedelic Moods album is in for a serious letdown.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming