Various Artists

Rubble 17: A Trip in a Painted World

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When a volume on a fairly specialized rock subgenre reaches its 17th installment, that's a pretty good indication that it's something that's only going to appeal to specialist collectors of the style. And considering that the best-known names on this compilation are the Fox, Philamore Lincoln, Andwella's Dream, and the Afex, you can bet that most of this material isn't terribly familiar even to many experts on said subgenre: late-'60s (mostly) U.K. psychedelia. As befits a back-of-the-closet cleaning-type exercise from the vaults, not much here is of astonishing quality, though it's fair and representative of the second- and third-division acts recording in this tributary. Not many tracks stand out as worthy of avid pursuit, but some of the better ones are the Barrier's "Spot the Lights," which is reminiscent of the Amboy Dukes' lightest pop-psychedelic tracks (รก la "Journey to the Center of the Mind"); the Californians' "Golden Apples," which has gorgeous, echoing, minor-key vocal harmonies and faint, grandly baroque orchestration; the Lion Tamers' "Light," which benefits from some uplifting folky harmonies and Kinksy melodic tendencies; and the Afex's superbly effervescent mod-popper "She's Got the Time." Kinks collectors will be interested in Wild Silk's 1969 single, "Toymaker," a Ray Davies song never recorded by the Kinks, though the tune's not so hot. A Trip in a Painted World was reissued on CD in 2003 as one of the ten discs in the box set The Rubble Collection: Volumes 11-20.

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