Various Artists

High All the Time, Vol. 2

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Featuring 14 extremely rare singles from the golden age of garage bands, High All the Time, Vol. 2, like the first installment, packs a whole lot of fuzzed-out guitars from the mid-'60s on one disc, and if the earnest excesses of some of these tracks gets laughable, especially being heard some 50 years later, it’s still a fascinating fall down the rabbit hole of vintage garage psychedelia. The value of these sides is their rarity, really, because most of what is here just sounds silly, and steady listening to this stuff is unimaginable. Well, maybe that’s not true. It takes all kinds to make the world go ‘round -- but hearing ESB’s “Mushroom People” (with its not-so-coy chorus of “Maryjane, I love you” and a backdrop of fuzz, bells, and shrieks) twice in a row will unhinge anyone. There are a couple of minor gems here, though, including Grant’s Blueboys’ stomping version of Tim Hardin’s “If I Were a Carpenter” from 1969 and Odyssey’s “California” -- a marvelous mess of fuzz, flutes, out-of-tune autoharps, and Lord knows what else -- from 1968, so anyone interested in this kind of everything-but-the-kitchen-sink garage ephemera will be happy with this set. If sanity is an issue, though, be advised: some of this stuff is maddening.

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