Various Artists

Rubble 15: 5000 Seconds Over Toyland

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Most lengthy compilation series get less impressive as time goes on, and the 15th volume of the Rubble series of late-'60s British rarities (with occasional European and early-'70s tracks thrown in) was no exception. This is one of the less impressive installments, though it's typical in its mixture of various shades of psychedelia, from the poppiest and more soul-influenced to fairly heavy, far-out stuff. The Pretty Things are by far the best band here, represented by three tracks from their Even More Electric Banana soundtrack album. While that album's off-the-beaten track, and while those songs are good bridges between their first psychedelic excursions and their S.F. Sorrow record, they're really not too hard to find on other reissues. A good deal of the other tracks on the anthology leave only passing impressions, with plenty of trendy use of phasing and sitarish sounds, and the Jackpots' "Jack in the Box" is pop-psych at its most helium-light. But there are some above-average rarities, like the House of Lords' "In the Land of Dreams," with a very nice bittersweet chorus; Jason Crest's "Turquoise Tandem Cycle," which is like early Procol Harum with a slightly more garage-ish bent and cool wah-wah guitar; Sound Barrier's tumbling mod rocker "Groovin' Slow"; and the State of Mickey & Tommy's elegantly orchestrated "With Love From 1 to 5." 5000 Seconds Over Toyland was reissued on CD in 2003 as one of the ten discs in the box set The Rubble Collection Volumes 11-20.

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