Various Artists

The History of Texas Garage Bands in the '60s, Vol. 3: The AOK Record Story

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A musical companion of sorts to collector John Ingman's exhaustive discographical resource AOK, collecting information on a number of obscure Texas and New Mexico record labels of the '60s, Cicadelic's History of Texas Garage Bands in the '60s series is one of the most in-depth examinations of this underrated regional scene. The third volume covers AOK Records itself, a short-lived west Texas label that existed from 1966 to early 1968 and was primarily known for the Shades, a ? & the Mysterians-type soul-punk group with a wigged-out organist whose second single, "Gingerbread Man" (included here) was good enough to attract the attention of the far better-known International Artists label. Of the other acts, Carroll's Mood and the Wry Catchers both deliver some fine California-style folk-rock with strong Beau Brummels/Mojo Men accents (the Wry Catchers, besides having the cooler name, have the stronger songs in the wistful, organ-led "When I Met You" and the rockier "Collision Course"), but the rest deliver the same kind of nothing-special garage rock-by-numbers that makes so many of this type of collection only of interest to hardcore garage rock historians.

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