Various Artists

Pebbles, Vol. 8: Southern California, Pt. 1

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Southern California, and specifically the Los Angeles area, was one of the most active hotbeds of '60s garage punk, both because of its huge size and its flourishing musical and youth culture. Not all L.A. garage rock was great, and this 25-song compilation (much of which has appeared on previous vinyl garage anthologies, Pebbles included) is a good way to ferret out some of the better rare singles of the genre. Terry Randall's protest rocker "S.O.S.," the Rumors' "Louie Louie" ripoff "Hold Me Now," Byron & the Mortals' organ-driven "Do You Believe Me," the Dovers' Byrds-meets-the-Zombies "She's Not Just Anybody" -- all are among the best garage classics. Most of the rest is pretty good, if a bit generic at times. Lots of informative liner notes, too.

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