Various Artists

Psychedelic Disaster Whirl

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Back in the ‘80s, psychedelia wasn't just another flavor that every other band sprinkled into its music like chocolate jimmies on an ice cream cone. It was a murky, mysterious, and perhaps even somewhat foreboding lost world that only a brave few dared to enter. Even the original Nuggets set seemed like a distant artifact; it was, after all, released back in 1972, just a short time after the psych sound peaked. So when compilations like Pebbles and Rubble began to pop up in the ‘80s, it all seemed like a revelation, sparking both new interest in fans and the first psychedelic revival bands. Psychedelic Disaster Whirl is a lesser-known but equally important part of that enlightenment process; originally released in 1986 on limited-edition vinyl, it focused on the gritty, rough-edged, garage rock end of the psych spectrum. The front cover even sports a blurb that proudly proclaims "no flower power." Disaster Whirl went spelunking even deeper into those Nehru-jacket-bedecked mines than Nuggets -- most of the tracks included are rarities by groups that would seldom be heard of outside the confines of this collection and the dank basements of a handful of hardcore psych collectors. Reedy combo organs, electric rubber band fuzz-guitar riffs, and tough, Chocolate Watchband-esque vocals are in ample supply on tracks by the Starlites, the Caretakers of Deception, Perpetual Motion Workshop, and a gang of similarly inclined psych-stirrers. From the ominous sound of Plague's "Face of Time" to the primitive, almost proto-Half Japanese pounding of Sixpence's "In the Building," Psychedelic Disaster Whirl serves to remind us of a time when psychedelia still bore a thrilling sense of danger and discovery in equal amounts.

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