Various Artists

Psychedelic States: Georgia in the '60s, Vol. 1

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The first of Gear Fab's Psychedelic States compilations to take place outside the borders of Florida -- this time around the label swaps Sunshine State oranges for Georgia peaches -- starts out very promisingly with the Spontaneous Generation's "Up in My Mind," a pure Yardbirds vintage psychedelic rave-up as good as or better than anything on the three previous CDs in the series. But from there, however, the album, by and large, ranges from merely adequate to middling. One surmises this might have something to do with possible plans to release more than one Georgia in the '60s collection, which would thereby necessitate that Gear Fab spread the finest and most idiosyncratic cuts to emerge from the state in the latter half of the '60s over several albums. Much of the music on this initial Georgia edition, then, can only be characterized as filler, and like all filler, it is by turns prosaic and uninspired or amusing, but inconsequential, wholly forgettable at times, and total garage rock cool (Bo Allen, Faman, the Celtics, Tier Park, the Mach V, Red Beard & the Pirates) at others, although rarely psychedelic in even a cosmetic fashion. It is up to the listener to determine his or her threshold for this stuff, and as always, '60s fanatics will want it all. As for the rest of us, there are indeed other outstanding efforts aside from "Up in My Mind" to make the CD worthwhile (if not entirely worth its purchase price). Bitter Creek, like Stack (a previous Gear Fab rediscovery) or Blue Cheer, wreaks proto-heavy metal havoc on "Plastic Thunder," a crunching acid-streaked storm of cavernous bass and bolts of fuzz guitar, and King David & the Slaves do their best metalized interpretation of psychedelic Beatles on "I've Been Told." The Sweet Acids, the Fly-Bi-Nites, and Little Phil & the Night Shadows -- the latter reasonably famous in collector's circles -- also have worthy cuts. And while it's not kaleidoscopic in any discernible way, the Fugitives' bluesy "Meggie" is a superbly raunchy Rolling Stones theft to round things off. As for the rest, listen at your own discretion.

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