Various Artists

Green Crystal Ties, Vol. 9: The Great Lost Psychedelic Garage Bands

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Recent reissues of this kind have scraped the bottom of the barrel for new material, pretending that groups that should've been permanently locked in their garages were overlooked geniuses. Many labels propagate this illusion further by including liner notes so full of unfounded exaggeration that even confident fans of the genre may start to believe the hype. Thankfully, this set is unlike that, and is instead a true find with appropriate and informative notes. The most "famous" bands in the collection are the Lemon Drops and the Human Expression, but even they are fairly obscure. "I Live in the Springtime," by the Lemon Drops, is a devastating piece of psychedelic pop, while the Human Expression's "Readin' Your Will" is a snarling number similar in message to "Kicks," a rarity in a time when music was intrinsically linked to the alleged benefits of mind-altering substances. The Kreeg's frenzied take of "For Your Love" out-raves the Yardbirds, and has to figure as one of the best-ever interpretations of the song. The Morning Dew combine the Beatles with early Status Quo with good results on "Sycamore Dreamer." And the Lemon Fog offer up some melodic gems with fat, McCartney-esque basslines on their two tunes. The only real disappointment on the disc is the Deep, who are hazy and horrendous. Many of the volumes in this series are a cut above similar retrospectives, but this one may just be the best of the lot.

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