Various Artists

The New England Teen Scene, Vol. 1-3

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New England had a thriving garage band scene in the mid-'60s that, in general, was heavier on the harmonies, keyboards, and Zombies influence than most other regions. These three vinyl compilations -- all of which are probably getting pretty hard to find -- gather dozens of rare singles from the era. Volume one is by far the best, due to its greater concentration of catchy British Invasion-derived melodies; in fact, it's one of the better values of the thousands of garage compilations that have emerged since 1980. Volume two isn't as strong, but does offer the Barbarians' rare "Hey Little Bird," the growling non-LP single that was their best song; the Tallysmen's "You Don't Care" is also appealingly moody. Volume three starts to bottom out into interchangeable garage sounds. It does have one rare cut each by two of the most famous New England groups (the Ramrods, i.e. the Rockin' Ramrods, and the Rising Storm), but be warned that the Rising Storm cut is merely a backing track.