Zakary Thaks

Face to Face

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One of several compilations all based on the same small amount of material, the 1995 compilation Face to Face collects both sides of all of the Corpus Christi, TX, group's 1966-1969 singles -- a total of 12 songs -- and two previously unissued tracks, "Footsteps Jam" and "The Mirror's Reflection." The material is unquestionably first-rate U.S. garage-psych, far superior to most of the third-string teenage amateurs that litter the '60s collector market. (Sadly, most obscure local bands stayed obscure and local for a reason, a fact lost on many obscurantists.) In particular, 1967's relatively ornate "Mirror of Yesterday," which sounds like a louder garage version of a song from Bee Gees 1st, and the psychedelized hard rock of "Green Crystal Ties" are excellent. Unfortunately, the two unreleased tracks add little to the group's legend, although "Footsteps Jam" has a cool overdriven guitar sound, and unfortunately, the sound is lo-fi and shoddy even by the standards of this kind of budget reissue of poorly maintained tapes. Form the Habit from 2001 sounds much better, but it uses alternate mixes on some songs, making Face to Face perhaps a better choice for purists who don't mind the noise.

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