Various Artists

We're Not What We Appear To Be

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Don't you just love those 400-copy, limited-edition LPs that gather a bunch of super-rare British Invasion 45s in one place? Actually, there aren't too many of them, but this is one, its fairly nice cover graphics hiding a record with a blank white label in the center. Yes, it's for collectors only, but there's some good stuff here covering the neglected corner of British Invasion rock that's not quite early British Invasion but not quite psychedelia, not quite mid-'60s but not quite late '60s. Instead, it's British rock somewhere in the late-mod era, the 14 tracks including flops from a few groups that actually had hits (the Mindbenders, the Merseys, Paul & Barry Ryan), though mostly devoted to names that few non-specialists will recognize. A few of the cuts are downright excellent, foremost among them, surprisingly, the tough cover of "Wade in the Water" (complete with James Bond-theme-like chord ascension) from Ian & the Zodiacs, a group known much more for relatively tame and imitative Merseybeat. Tuesday's Children sound like a far harder-edged Peter & Gordon on their harmony mod rocker "Summer Leaves Me With a Sigh"; Wishful Thinking's "I Want You Girl" sounds a little like the Small Faces' most delicate late-'60s work; and Winston's Fumbs get close to psychedelia on the freewheeling "Real Crazy Apartment." Some of the rest of this, however, is blander, if energetic period British mod rock, and some of the songs -- "Real Crazy Apartment," for one, but also the ones by the Mindbenders and the Montanas -- had been readily available on CD reissues for years before this LP came out. The sound, as you'd expect, is listenable, but obviously remastered from the old 45s.