This Canadian import CD contains We Are Ever So Clean (1967), the debut LP from the suitably psychedelic U.K. quartet Blossom Toes. This marks the first CD release of the difficult-to-find album from a tape (as opposed to vinyl) source -- as such, the sonic resolution is uniformly excellent. The band's sound is earmarked by their extremely European sensibilities. They're so steeped in Britannia that they could arguably be considered a definitive representation of that era of Brit-pop. Musically, Blossom Toes set their sights toward a less-menacing version of Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd. In much the same spirit, Blossom Toes take musical risks and are likewise challenging in their approach. A motif of unbridled daftness permeates the whole album. Beginning with the rhythmically off-centered introduction to "Look at Me I'm You," this continues through until the final track, which is a condensation of the entire affair -- featuring a pastiche of sound clips from each track. Additionally, Blossom Toes incorporate horn and string sections liberally. However, the arrangements are never syrupy or heavy-handed -- similar to the small string section that Paul McCartney used on "Eleanor Rigby" or the trumpet solo to "Penny Lane." There are also a few psychedelic rockers, such as "I Will Bring You This and That," "When the Alarm Clock Rings," and "What's It For." This is not proto-punk garage rock; rather, these are well-thought-out compositions -- in much the same way that Pete Townshend and Ray Davies were structuring their pop masterpieces. The second volume contains their follow-up LP, If Only for a Moment. This is a no-brainer for fans of the genre.
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AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer