The Underground Electrics / The Generation Gap

Hey Jude/Up Up and Away

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A two-fer containing two odd records that are catnip for hardcore record collectors and alienating to pretty much everybody else, this has two weird selections from 1968: the Underground Electrics' Hey Jude and the Generation Gap's Up Up and Away. The name and the font of Underground Electrics suggest something that would perhaps be heavy on analog synths and perhaps have a bit of eastern mysticism. Instead, it sounds like a disinterested Dick Curless fronting Cream, which in itself is a more interesting description than the music. The band lurches through a "Hey Jude" where the uncredited singer doesn't care to remember the lyrics; then they do "Crossroads" and "Boogie Children" before descending into originals and a couple other covers, none of which are distinctive outside of the baritone singer being impossibly divorced from the rest of the band. The Generation Gap is on the lighter side of things, never indulging in heavy guitars or sludgy tempos, but its combination of Jimmy Webb covers and tossed-off, sunny hippie pop is also crass exploitation that reads better than it plays. There's not enough imagination here to make for an interesting curiosity. Instead, both halves of this curio show that heavy and light psych could be equally stultifying.

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