Various Artists

Serotonin Ronin, Vol. 2

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AllMusic Review by

This is a double-CD compilation of material that with a few exceptions has either appeared on the Australian Camera Obscura label or has appeared on their website as a selection of their "monthly MP3 singles club." Disc one is entirely comprised of cuts that have come out on Camera Obscura CDs, except for Witch Hazel Sound's previously unreleased "Sketches of the Insane" (although Our Glassie Azoth's "Euterpe" is an edited version, and Green Pajamas' "Sweet Sorrow" is an extended version); disc two is entirely comprised of MP3 singles club items. The music is largely post-modern psychedelia, sometimes on the folky side, and the fact that Green Pajamas is by far the best-known act gives you an idea of how little known most of these acts are to the general public. Like much latter-day psychedelia, overall this is far stronger on texture than songwriting; some of the songs are pretty aimless ambient/jam-type things, others are harmless, inconsequential tunes that take their cues from late-'60s/early-'70s British psych. Once in a while something tighter and more concise grabs your attention, such as Six Organs of Admittance's "Hermitage Song," which is Donovan-esque folk-psych, or Eason's "Klondyke Fitzgerald," a very enjoyable homage to the quirky character sketches the Kinks specialized in circa 1966-1967. Overall, though, this is one for religious subscribers to the Ptolemaic Terrascope fanzine and avid listeners of the post-mod psych that publication often champions.

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