Various Artists

Psychedelic Super Pjotr

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The soundtrack to a film nobody's ever heard of, this compilation documents some pretty rockin' psychedelic pop tracks and groups from various Eastern Bloc countries (Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Czechoslovakia) and is thus thoroughly enjoyable on its own. These Slavs seem to have thoroughly assimilated the sounds of the West, despite being under Soviet domination at the time. There are guitar sounds and riffs straight out of the Who's early catalog on Crickets' "Song of the Crickets," and some surprisingly hip horn blare on the two tracks by Polanie -- album opener "I Don't Know Myself" is particularly fierce and almost funky. Niebiesko-Czarni's scorched-earth guitar instrumental "Tongue Twister" lands somewhere between Lonnie Mack and Ted Nugent's work with the Amboy Dukes. The only two English-language numbers -- the Gentlemen's "No Chance" and Les Mistigris' "Summer Nights" -- are also the only tracks that dip into kitsch. When working in their own languages, for their own listener bases, these acts were capable of ripping it up as fiercely as anybody on the opposite side of the Iron Curtain. Any fan of mid-'60s garage psychedelia needs to hear this.

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