Various Artists

Psychedelic States: Florida in the '60s, Vol. 3

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Gear Fab is at it again on the third volume of their Psychedelic States series, rounding up the last remaining pearls (at least one would imagine) from the oyster that was '60s Florida garage psych and, surprisingly, coming up with yet another pretty solid edition. There is still roughly the same percentage of gold-to-dross as there was on the first two volumes in the series, but volume three is arguably the most listenable collection from beginning to end. The filler is just a little bit more likeable than before, and while there are not many lost masterworks of psychedelia in the order of Neighborhood of Love or Blues Messengers from the previous editions (the Fantastic Group's "Land of Lakes" being one, the Cavemen's unnerving "It's Trash" being perhaps the only other competitor), there is at least half an album's worth of consistently fine garage and pop/rock nuggets. The quality might have to do with the number of holdovers from the original two CDs. For instance, Bernie Leadon and Don Feldner's the Maundy Quintet are back, as is Cosmic Camel (on the deliciously gothic "The King's Winetaster"), the Twelfth Night, the Fewdle Lords, and several others. In addition the great Orlando-based We the People makes their first appearance here (although "My Brother the Man" is a shade repetitive compared to the band's strongest sides), as do the notable Painted Faces. Aside from those conspicuous examples, of course, there is not a lot of what you could label as originality in the music and some of the tunes are frankly rather nondescript, yet such shortcomings are routinely filled with a sloppy aggression and enthusiasm that brings the era back in all its kaleidoscopic glory. As before, the CD is strictly recommended to garage rock devotees, but that considerable group will find a wealth of previously unreleased treasures here that is reason enough for the digging.

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