Various Artists

Strummin' Mental, Vol. 1

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32 "raw, rare and rockin' instrumentals" from 1958-1965, true to the packaging on the label. A lot of this sounds like Link Wray as filtered through a particularly garagey lens: crude, echoing guitars, some weird sound effects, the occasional surf influence and honking sax a la Johnny & the Hurricanes, all tied together with a general sense of mania. You ain't hearda none of these cuts, unless you've been spending half your time in the same thrift stores that the Cramps and other like-minded souls sift through; not one of these acts are known on even a cult level. It's fairly monotonous in such a big serving -- an occupational hazard of such subterranean compilations -- but it's interesting, sometimes gripping evidence of the wild, somewhat trashy rock that continued to thrive on a grass-roots level at a time when such sounds were supposedly almost extinct.

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