Of the many garage bands who released unrecognized and obscure singles in the mid-'60s, the Mystic Tide were one of the very best. The Long Island group released four singles on their own labels in 1966 and 1967, mostly for distribution at their own gigs (and apparently they didn't sell too well there, either). While the production on these is fairly raw, the group had genuine original talent, pursuing a dark, psychedelic vision with overloaded distorted guitar breaks. Their tunes (all written by guitarist Joe Docko) combined the minor-key melodies of British Invasion groups like the Zombies with the raunch of acts like Them. Unlike most other American groups following this path, however, they added a mysterioso (at times vaguely Middle Eastern) element that echoed the innovations of groups like the Doors, the Velvet Underground, and the very early Pink Floyd and Soft Machine, though the Mystic Tide most likely didn't hear any of these groups. Their sound and outlook were perhaps too foreboding for even local success, and the group disbanded in 1967, ironically finding a much greater audience when their singles were reissued for psych/garage collectors in the '80s.
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