Various Artists

Trash Box: Wild Psychotic Garage Punk!!!

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Trash Box is actually the first five Pebbles vinyl compilations all packed into one set, featuring 109 tracks of rare and obscure mid- '60s garage punk delights. Much of the music here is highly derivative, a bit like hearing practice tapes for the Count Five trying to learn "Psychotic Reaction" over and over again (there's actually of cover of "Psychotic Reaction" here by a group called Positively 13 O'clock), but the often rabid silliness of some of these songs is actually kind of endearing, when it isn't mind numbing. Some of the tracks that stick out include "Like a Rolling Stone" by the Soup Greens, who manage to strip Dylan's six-minute epic down to under three minutes (and still get a guitar break shoe-horned in); the Stoics' succinct "Hate," which definitely can't be accused of being lyrically overwrought; a French language version of Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze" called "Vapeaur Mauve" by the Haunted; and William Penn Fyve's "Swami," which could be a parody of late-'60s psychedelic excess, except it isn't a parody at all. A couple of these cuts, like the Brogues' "I Ain't No Miracle Worker" deserve to have been at least regional hits, and others, like "My Soap Won't Float" bythe Regiment, are just so odd that they can't help but be memorable. Fans of garage rock will undoubtedly enjoy this five-disc set, but be warned that the quality here is a distinct step down from the two Nuggets boxes, to which Trash Box is a fitting addendum.

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