American radio was still regional in the mid- to late-'60s, which meant that a band could rent two-track recording equipment and craft a masterpiece in some garage or basement, get it printed up, and actually get it played down at the local station. Thousands of young bands did this, and while most of the results were derivative and ramshackle at best, a kind of raw and primitive folk music emerged. Called garage bands, these often inept fledgling rockers were all about attitude, and few periods in rock are more exciting or amusing, or more mined by record collectors. This collection from Germany's Wayback Records, the latest in the Sixties Rebellion series, combines two earlier releases (The Garage and The Barn) on one disc, and the result is a head-shaking journey into the world of regional garage rock. Little here merits more than a single listen, although there are some surprisingly catchy tracks buried in all the debris, including "Crackin' Up" by Famen, "I Cried Goodbye" by California's Missing Links, and a fair approximation of the Beau Brummels called "That Lonely Road" by the Edges of Wisdom, an outfit out of Illinois. Texas gets a big chunk of the time here, and while "And She'll Cry" by the Celtics inches towards melodic sophistication (at least within the boundaries of this compilation), "No One Wants Me" by the Actioneers is completely baffling, sounding like a dangerously depressed Buddy Holly. Truthfully, a lot of the bands here have a sound that unintentionally approximates fingernails on a chalk board, and the lyrics seldom rise above the level of what a teenage boy thinks is adult talk about girls, but there is still something inspiring about guys who can barely play, sing or keep time taking a shot at articulation, even if the results are painful. Better to make a loud noise than to suffer in silence.
AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett
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