Various Artists

Teenage Shutdown: I'm Gonna Stay

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Teenage Shutdown: I'm Gonna Stay, subtitled "Target: Fuzz!," is another great collection of mid-'60s garage punk. This one focuses on the fuzz guitar sound that was so prominent on the mid-'60s soundtracks to biker flicks and teen exploitation films (and often the music was provided by the king of the fuzz guitar, Davie Allan, and his band, Davie Allan & the Arrows). According to the CD booklet, the tracks found on this collection come from singles that were released between 1966 and 1969. The newly designed, easier-to-read fold-out insert features one of the few color photos in the Teenage Shutdown series, not to mention full-color photos of two bands, one black-and-white photo, and color scans of all the original single labels. In the notes, Teenage Shutdown co-conspirator and liner note scribe Mike "Moptop" Markesich writes: "The creation of the fuzzbox in the mid 1960s provided for some whacked-out sounds, when used in moderation." True -- but there's nothing moderate about this collection, not at all; here are 17 fuzz-drenched mid-tempo rockers, each with a prominent fuzz riff and/or lead break that stands apart from fuzz-happy singles of the day. Highlights include Greg Barr & the Barr Association's "Dance Girl Dance" (referred to as "snot supreme" in the liner notes) and Lou Capri's vicious fuzz solo on "Love and Kisses." Like most every release in the Teenage Shutdown series, several singles included here were previously available on earlier Pebbles and Highs in the Mid-Sixties comps; those making their repeat performance include the Modds' "Leave My House" and the Moxies' "I'm Gonna Stay" (from Paducah, KY). The real difference, of course, is the great care that Crypt Records' founder/owner Tim Warren took to restore the sound quality of these singles by transferring them, with minimum EQing, from analog to digital using a CEDAR system for "de-nosing" in the mastering process. Of course, mastering can't fix the ineptly played performances themselves. Thankfully, any perceived ineptitude or crudeness on the musicians' part is outweighed by their unbridled energy and enthusiasm. This is a fine collection if you're a fan of garage punk and fuzz guitar.

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