Various Artists

Psychedelic States: Ohio in the 60's, Vol. 3

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Those who have heard more than one entry in Gear Fab's ongoing Psychedelic States series know at this point more or less what to expect from it: indifferently recorded 45s cut by excessively hormonal American boys doing their best regionally adjusted Beatles, Byrds, and Stones poses, and herein rescued from the filthy ashtray of rock's past by the label's dedicated archivists. One would think that a third volume focused on a single state might be more dilute than its sister volumes, but this one, Ohio in the 60s, Vol. 3, pretty much holds to the same level of consistency as the first two. It's not a consistently high level, to be sure, but is nonetheless consistently interesting in sociological terms: which is to say, as a cultural snapshot of the acne-scarred, blue-balled, FuzzTone'ed Id of late-'60s Ohio adolescence. These records are nowhere near as significant from an artistic standpoint, of course, but in their own way may be as useful to the future aliens who conquer Earth as Alan Lomax's Library of Congress field recordings at revealing and defining a particular plot point in America's cultural story. (For instance, one can only interpret a song as boldly idiotic as the Strays' "Scratch My Egg" -- "I said baby, come on and be my banana" -- in the course of comprehending the historical context in which it was created.) Though Ohio generated more than its fair share of (genuinely) groovy garage-detonated explosions during the era -- including on the national stage -- most of the 26 facsimiles here never made it past (if they even made it onto) their local radio play lists and don't even begin to breathe the oxygen of the bands they were attempting to copy. But then the value of these sets is always cumulative rather than song-by-song. That said, there are golden eggs tucked away in this hothouse: psychedelic early adopter the Fifth Order ("Goin' Too Far"); national Shindig talent contest winners, Tony & the Bandits ("A Bit of Alright"); the go-go gallop of Kenny & the Kasuals' organ-trimmed "I Never Had It So Good"; the harmonica-laced Stonesy dead ringer "All You Had to Do Was Ask" by the Baskerville Hounds; a lovin' spoonful of a good-time lark ("Satisfied") by Columbus' favorite sons the Dantes; and the party-buzzing "I Want More (Lovin')" by the Chylds, which upholds northern Ohio's penchant for soul-sweaty frat rock.

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