Various Artists

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

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AllMusic Review by Stanton Swihart

It is generally not a difficult task to pick out '60s New York pop and rock. The music tends to have a number of identifying characteristics that render it readily identifiable, usually only a few bars into any given song. Such characteristics include the pugnacious, streetwise vocals, dense fuzz guitar with a certain ruggedness that predicted heavy metal a couple years ahead of the curve, a massively lumbering bottom end with a repetitive thump, a significant strain of R&B, and -- most particularly -- an immediately distinguishable organ sound unique from other organ-heavy regions like Seattle and Boston. All of those attributes, if they can be called such, are in abundance on Gear Fab's first Psychedelic States compilation, which chronicles New York's garage and psychedelic scene. Alongside them you can find the typical teenage romantic angst, snarling insolence, guitar rave-ups, and the Beatles and Stones imitations included in all such collections. The winners here include "Can't Get You Out of My Heart" from the Rustics (band of the teenaged Faine Jade), the brilliantly dismissive, downright vulgar "Superhog" from the Jelly Bean Bandits (a combo well known to most garage aficionados), the Descendants' Diddley-esque "Lela," the Age of Reason's tough "Dirty Shame," and "All My Life" by the Taboos (the only true bit of acid dementia present here). If you like the other albums in this Gear Fab series, this one will not disappoint.

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