Various Artists

The Super K Kollection, Vol. 1

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This compilation collects a number of obscure singles produced by bubblegum kings Jerry Kasenetz and Jeffrey Katz. Although they were known for sweet and catchy hits like "Goody Goody Gumdrops" and "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy," very little bubblegum-style material pops up on this compilation. Instead, the singles presented on The Super K Kollection, Vol. 1 focus primarily on psychedelia and garage rock. In the psychedelia department, the most memorable tracks are "Elevator Man," a slightly overlong but atmospheric British Road Runners track with a sound reminiscent of late-'60s era Hollies, and "The Clock," a late-period 1910 Fruitgum Company track built on churchy organ and a naggingly catchy singalong hook. In the garage rock area, the strongest tracks include "Hard Core Groovin'," a Nuggets-style track from the Music Explosion that highlights a gritty vocal over a strong combination of organ and fuzz guitar, and "Take a Big Hit on the Jug," an Ohio Ltd. cut that punctuates its power-chord attack with an a cappella singalong chorus driven home by percussion. Interspersed between these cuts is the occasional bit of bubblegum like Bobby Bloom's "When," a tasty song that perks up its organ-driven pop melody with soulful horns. Unfortunately, the listener has to sift through some dull dross to get to the aforementioned highlights: the JCW Ratfinks' "I Feel a Fever Coming On" is garage rock at its most faceless and the Charles E. Funk Rebellion version of "House of the Rising Sun" won't make anyone forget the far superior Animals version. Ultimately, The Super K Kollection, Vol. 1 offers up enough nuggets to make it worthwhile for pop fanatics, but is too uneven and unfocused for the casual listener.

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