Various Artists

Psych Bites, Vol. 2

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The first volume of Psych Bites, released in 2008, focused exclusively on Australian bands from 1967-1974, before anyone was really paying attention to rock from down under, and it was in large part a hard, heavy set of proto-metal. This second compilation gathers tracks from all over the world, and is consequently much broader in scope. One early highlight is a cover of Atomic Rooster's "Tomorrow Night" that mostly works because it's a great song, not because the Lebanese band Chartbusters bring anything special to the table. Krokodil's "Blue Flashing Circle" is almost proto-Krautrock with its keyboard drones and Jaki Leibezeit-esque free-funk drumming; Rote Gitarren's "Anfang" is a semi-heavy stomper with lots of fuzz guitar and thudding drums; and several bands offer funky jams that seem more indebted to James Brown than Jimi Hendrix, making their placement on a psychedelia comp a little mysterious. The presence of two tracks by the astonishing Nigerian answer to Funkadelic, Ofo the Black Company, including their anthemic guitar firestorm "Allah Wakbarr," livens things up quite a bit toward the disc's end, but too much of this is anonymous and forgotten for a reason.

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