Various Artists

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

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As usual on the albums in this fine series, there are a handful of unearthed gems, a string of game attempts, and then a trail of also-rans (some of them quite enjoyably earnest or naïve, some of them out-and-out pedestrian). Ohio was, as the CD booklet notes, a "real hot bed" of garage rock activity in the '60s. A few bands (the Outsiders, the Choir, the Human Beinz, Ohio Express, etc.) in a slightly more pop mode even saw action on the national charts, while any number of less polished but no less potent challengers punched their way on to various local charts. That means there is a slightly higher ratio of winners-to-duds here than on other series' entries, and, as usual, those winners make the collection more than worth the cost. Running caveat: fuzz guitar rather than psychedelia (per the title) is the element that tends to connect these singles together. Some are about as trippy as the Beach Blanket Bingo movies -- though not necessarily less entertaining for that fact, it should be noted, as one listen to the snot-nosed, anachronistic frat rock of the Beau Denturies' "Straight Home" will demonstrate. The generally amateurish recording quality of a majority of these singles luckily tends to underscore rather than obscure the palpably raw emotions of the songs, but it also means the more professional quality sides stick out, particularly the chiming "Can't Get Enough of Your Love" by Columbus' favorite sons, the Dantes (who would open for most of the top national bands as they passed through the Buckeye state) and a strong take on the Yardbirds' "Evil Hearted You" by the aforementioned Human Beinz (at the time still billed as the Human Beingz). Other songs worth multiple replays include the Chosen Lot's "Time Was," the unbelievably primitive "I Hear the Word" by the Purple Persians, the Us Too Group's "I'll Leave You Crying," the Blues Invention's "Mystery Man," Richard Pash & the Back Door Society's "I'm the Kind," the Shillings' "Forgive Me My Love," and the Checkmates' "Get It While You Can." Turn the volume up loud for maximum impact.

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