Various Artists

Green Crystal Ties, Vol. 6: Rarities from Psychedelic

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The mix of sounds is above average for diversity and class: the Standells-style punk of the Human Expression; the lyrical psychedelic-influenced folk of the New Mexico-based Sunset Love; the very dramatic music of the Frantics (one of three bands on this disc who left behind complete albums), and the very intense California-based power trio Buzzsaw and their even heavier offshoot group, Watermelon, which added an organ to the mix of sounds; a pair of Texas bands, the Love Flowers and Seompi, the Arkay IV from Erie, PA; and the Morning Dew, the superstars of this lineup, who actually had two albums under their belt, and recorded for a major label (Roulette), and have the most sophisticated and commercial sound of any of these acts. The sound reproduction is excellent (although as times a bit bass-heavy), and the notes are surprisingly informative given the obscurity of a lot of the acts involved. As with many of these compilations, the quality of the music varies -- the Human Expression and Sunset Love could've been major-label acts, based on the music genre, whereas the Love Flowers' "Peace and Love" and "Nirvana" are nothing too special, almost generic psychedelic rock of its period. The jacket notes seem to approve of their work, saying it dwarfs the likes of the Monkees, and it's hard to tell if they're being serious; by contrast, the Arkay IV seemed to know, based on "Demotion" and "Valley of Conneaut Creek" -- sort of their answer to "Dirty Water" -- that they had to do more than recite the platitudes of the day to make a good song or a good record.

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