=  December 2009  =

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Written by:

Mike Tamburo



Simon Lewis (Editor)

Deleted Waveform Gatherings

Phil McMullen


Steve Palmer

Osiris the Rebirth
  Teeth of the Sea
  Bird by Snow
  Stone Breath 
The Master's Apprentice



(6 CDs  from

http://www.myspace.com/tamburo )

Those people who doubt that music is an art form can be easily persuaded otherwise by steeping themselves in the Terrascope Nation. One of the clearest examples of this can be found in this astonishing collection from Mike Tamboro, a man whose dedication, both to his art and his life, shines through from every part of the release.


Housed in a gorgeous gold and white box, opening the lid reveals seven equally beautiful booklets, six of which contain a disc of music, writing and original artwork, all from the artists’ hand, whilst the seventh contains a longer piece of writing, including an interview with the author set in 2015. Such attention to detail is heartening to find, the artwork containing variations on a design, giving the package a thematic unity, whilst the writing range from exercises in enlightenment, curses broken by Michael Jackson's glove and personal thought on the music with within. So, I am entranced already, my mind prepared by the writing, the almost alien/crop circle feel of the covers and, quite possibly, the alignment of the stars, surely it is time to actually sample the music itself.


The first joy is deciding which disc to play, eventually I settle on "The Tenth Gate" a solo piece for hammered dulcimer, a beautiful meditation inspired by detoxification, kundalini yoga and the teachings of Father Yod, the notes spiralling into heaven, an ever changing song to the soul. Similar in composition, "Alchemical Marriage", has a joyous feel, a sparkling inner light that is soothing and energising in equal measure. Written for a friend’s wedding, the music is timeless, and must have added an extra spiritual dimension to the day.


Shifting in sound and focus, "Teaching of the Crowned Eternal" is music to be an accompaniment to breathing exercises that are designed to open your Pineal and Pituitary glands. These exercises are detailed in the notes and are something I plan to experience in the future. As to the music , "Lesson one" is a rhythmic drone that seems to vibrate and break up the room, whilst "Lesson Three" slows things down, moving thing inwards, distorting time and space allowing you space to just be, whilst "Lesson Six" is 23 minutes of harmonic buzz and hum, your inner ocean rising and receding, collecting energy and visions.


Featuring Acoustic Guitar, Dulcimer, Vocals and Effects" The Ballad of One Hung Glove" tells the tale of a 2006 tour, being cursed by a travelling companion, stung by wasps and cured with the help of a psychic and a glove worn by the king of pop himself. Is this tale real, is it a dream or maybe a fable designed to illuminate, whichever it is and it may be none of the above, the music is truly mesmerising, the drifting melodies, cloud-like harmony and effected guitar lines of "Part One" glistening with unrestrained magic, the track building into a heavy, dense drone that penetrates every fibre of your being. On "Part Two", the opening melody is so achingly sad and melancholic that memories of friends and family will come flooding back, dragging your emotions into the open, the piece again slowly morphing, sounds floating in and out, the melodies changing their shape in subtle and harmonic ways.


Returning to the Hammered Dulcimer, "Vitvivatora" ( the strength that rises in us when most needed), is another haunting piece filled with an inner vitality, the virtuosity of the playing seemingly irrelevant to the meaning, although it is this very skill that enables the music to be created creating wonder on a multitude of levels, in these ears at least.


Finally we arrive at "Screwing Six Bolts Into Last Tuesday", a live improvisation that is vital, energetic, playful, ever-changing and fulfilling , the perfect metaphor for this release, sound as art, art as vision, the personal made public. Throughout these discs you get the feeling that this music would be made even if the creator lived on a desert island completely alone, it just has to be made, and the fact that we have a chance to share the vision is something we should all be thankful for. (Simon Lewis)






Over the course of three discs, Oneida defy description as they dive right into the melting pot with a collection that is varied, exhilarating and often musically disorientating. Take, for instance, "Brownout in Lagos" the opening track on disc one, here the band come on like a spaced out, dub Aphex Twin, distorted and dirty, the swirling synths messing with your head in a lovely way, a track that needs to be played live. Straight after, "What’s Up, Jackal?" continues the fucked up electronica meets rock band stance, sounding like a modern take on Kraut-Rock, the repetition weaving a hypnotic pulse throughout.

Intense and wonderful, the 12 minute "10:30 at the Oasis" will rock your world, a dense wave of noise that rolls with unstoppable energy, heads will nod, toes will tap, the missing soundtrack to one of those dreams where shadowy beings chase and fight you, only this time you will not want to wake up. Leaving the electronics behind for a while, the title track is the band in noisy guitar band mode, crushing bass and drums forcing the song from the speakers, the guitar riding the behemoth into oblivion, another intense roar that gets better every time, fans of early Hawkwind are gonna love this album.


Finally for disc one, "The Human Factor", start with a dark cloud of electronic noise and drone, before a slow beat adds some sense of order, although this is somewhat lost with the introduction of some crazed vocal shouting, the whole track sounding like a descent into madness.


Moving on to the second disc, we find the band becoming a heavy psych band, the seven song following a more traditional path, losing the electronic elements whilst retaining every ounce of sonic intensity. Opening track "The River" sets the tone, another bruising riff running through the spine of the song, whilst the addition of vocals (sung not shouted), add a human touch as does the MC5 inspired guitar solo. With the guitar now firmly ensconced in the driving seat, "I will Haunt You" is a glorious track, showcasing the bands power as it takes off into outer space, detonating your mind. Now sounding like a band from Ladbroke Grove circa 1969, "The Life You Preferred" keeps up the energy levels, with the guitar now idiot dancing out of the speakers with manic stoned abandon.


More focused than disc one, the fun continues in the same vein up until the last note, with "Ghost in the Room", "Saturday" and "It Was a Wall" all maintaining the sonic quality, although the second track adds a spacier feel to the disc with its rambling guitar and slower pace. Finally for the second disc, "Luxury Travel" takes a step sideways, with its slow burning riff the ideal springboard for some abstract noise and chaos, the chanted vocals only adding to the confusion.


Picking up from where disc two left off, "o" is a long rambling piece of psychedelia, complete with sitar, echoed guitar and washes of drone, the overall effect of which is to make you want to lie on the floor and close your eyes, praying for the power of flight. Following this "End of Time" is a bass heavy rumble, abstract and experimental, the weird feeling slowly dissipating as the 20 minute "Folk Wisdom" takes over. Here we are back in Kraut-Rock territory, an epic distillation of all that has gone before, the band feeding off each other to create a simply stunning piece of work that is a roaring waterfall of sound, the heavy ever changing riff driven along by powerful tribal drumming that deserves to be heard very fucking loud, this is gonna be a killer live.


Apparently part two of a trilogy, I eagerly await part three and intend to track down "Preteen Weaponry", the first part of the set. For now though, I can happily put the player on repeat and happily dive into the music of Oneida. (Simon Lewis)




(CD/LP from www.rainbowquartz.com )


Terrascope readers should hardly need reminding that Deleted Waveform Gatherings are Øyvind Holm's post-Dipsomaniacs power-pop psychonauts, and hail from Norway (Trondheim, more specifically). Needless to say, anything that bears St. Øyvind's indelible stamp is going to be revered around here, and this third album by the band is no exception – more than a follow-up to last year’s ‘Baby Warfare’, it’s a genuine progression and a fabulous statement in its own right.


The band apparently wanted to capture and preserve a “rough 1960s garage feel” on this album, which I’d have to say they’ve been pretty successful at in part – one or two songs proudly show their rough edges (the delightfully named ‘Shaman’s Tambourine’ in particular, which features a gloriously Beefheartian harmonica break), elsewhere however the roughness has been smoothed off with a combination of whisky and clever overdubs. This is no bad thing in my book. The whole shebang comes gloriously together on 'The Doc', a romp of a song with melodies worthy of the Monkeys and a backwards guitar solo to die for. It’s possibly my favourite song on the album, but that’s a tough choice to make. A short bridge of electronic bleeps and we're off and away with another catchy song, and another of the contenders for best song on here: 'Why I'm Falling' (think Guided by Voices with layers of added studio production). The side closes with a hook-laden Cotton Mather-esque groover, 'Hate Waiting in Line', again with a great stretch of twisted guitar soloing marking it as a stand-out.


‘This House’ which opens Side 2 is another of the stronger songs on the album, not that there’s much in the way of filler. A fabulous melody, a guitar line which shreds the clouds into strands of cotton wool, and it ends on a long note of feedback. The title song, which follows, is a haunting number akin to some of Jeff Kelly’s solo pieces, with a quavery theramin adding whatever counts for atmosphere in space. Finally, ‘Don’t Wanna Know’ returns to the pop/psych furrow which the band plough so effortlessly throughout the album.


Sporting a great gatefold sleeve with lyrics inside, there’s nothing not to love about this album. Buy it, play it, make them stars. It’s all very easy, really. (Phil McMullen)

(no sleeve photo available)



(Ape, www.aperecords.com )


Thomas Walsh recently came to prominence as one half of The Duckworth Lewis Method, cricket-based concept album creators of whom the other half is Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy. Walsh's own band, Pugwash, have been making albums in their native Ireland for a while, with "Giddy" a best-of covering three recordings, chosen and sequenced by Andy Partridge for his new Ape Records label.


The first thing you notice is the incredible artwork. Partridge gave Walsh the option of more royalties or more artwork, and Walsh chose the latter. But the circus themed puzzle art suits the psychedelic pop masterwork inside perfectly. Influences can readily be discerned - The Beach Boys, The Beatles, ELO, and more modern bands too, notably Midlake and The High Llamas.


Opening with "Apples," a Rickenbacker and mellotron classic, Walsh's mellifluous voice winds its way around a beautifully arranged song. "It's Nice To Be Nice" has a distinct Beach Boys flavour, and apparently has been approved and enjoyed by none other than Brian Wilson. Echoes of the High Llamas float around the choral harmonies and banjo of this instantly hummable song: "It's nice to be nice, and it's fun to be fun." The mood and tone calm down for the acoustic guitars, light percussion and choral harmonies of "Song For You," which is augmented by mellotron and Rhodes piano. The mysteriously titled "Anyone Who Asks" is heavier, with jangly Rickenbacker and fuzzed up guitars, and a feel reminiscent of the Dave Edmunds/Nick Lowe axis. A reedy Hammond brings a 'sixties touch. As with all the other tracks, the singing and choral arrangements are perfect, though here there is more of a modern production.


"Cluster Bomb" reminded me instantly of Sean O'Hagan's work with The High Llamas, as here a string quartet, tuned percussion and multiply recorded vocals create sonic perfection. This track captures what is so wonderful about Pugwash - proper melodies, beautiful arrangements, sound for the pleasure of sound itself. "Sunrise Sunset" echoes that great American band Midlake, with impassioned, yet restrained vocals over layers of acoustic guitar and voices; echoes of "Pet Sounds" drift in and out along with the gently jangling bell percussion. "The Season Of Flowers And Leaves" has a Beatles-esque sound as it gently trips by on Rhodes and strings/flute mellotrons. "Mono-rail" has great lyrics and a retro 'sixties feel on a silly song of transport-based love; another instantly hummable song, and less than two and a half minutes - just like it used to be...


"My Genius" matches rippling piano with more mellotron, Hammond organ and harmonised vocals; the alcohol-based lyrics are fairly dark. "Finer Things In Life" is the closest Pugwash get to a lighter-waving slowburn ballad, and is perhaps the track that musically most recalls ELO. It features a particularly good vocal and solid cello backing strings. "Black Dog" stops and starts to thudding drums, brass and trumpet, and Leslied guitars, while flute mellotron and Rhodes recall Beatles moments; beautifully produced, this track. "Two Wrongs" is heavy and rocking, while album closer "Anchor" takes us back to the 'sixties via The High Llamas and others, on a heavenly song that concludes the album perfectly.


Fans of finely crafted psychedelic songsmithery will revel in this outstanding album, which goes to show that having clear influences is fine if you have the songwriting talent to take music where it can go. Fans of all the above-mentioned bands should love this collection, which I recommend wholeheartedly. A brand new album is due for release in the spring, and that, without doubt, will be an essential purchase.  (Stephen Palmer)




(Rare Steak Records, www.osiristherebirth.com)


The name Dave Adams should be known to space cadets everywhere. On "Remnants Of Life" he joins fellow Assassins Of Silence veteran Milo Black and a star-spangled cast to present an album of spacey techno-prog-rock. With that cast including Nik Turner, Bridget Wishart and Cyndee Lee Rule, you know this is going to be a far-out trip.


A science-fiction computer boot-up opens the album, then it's off into the all guns blazing space rock of "Colgate Valentine," the nearest analogue of which might be early 'nineties Hawkwind. Bridget Wishart is on fine vocal form for "Starlight Scorpio," a collaborative track with Adams. The feel here is light, the ambience dubby, the synths subtle: stereo effects set to maximum for this album highlight. Black's vocals on "Siren" are an intriguing mix of Dave Brock and Robert Wyatt as he spins a tale of futuristic female capture: "You'll be her prisoner forever more, You'll never see your sanity again." A high synth quotient makes this spacey offering good listening.


"Gymnofeetie" is a brief instrumental offering with heavily phased guitars rippling over light synth and electronics, serving to separate two heavy tracks - very nice. "Dragonslayer" introduces Kim Novak's vocals on the second Adams/Black composition, which has more of a progressive than a space rock feel. Epic vocal backing and fine bass playing propel this mighty cut, while wah-fuzz guitars spin overhead.


Another science-fiction computer voice breaks up the album before Nik Turner's flute welcomes us to "Osiris," who speaks with deeply reverberant voice a quotation from the Egyptian Book Of The Dead. It's spooky, that's for sure. "Bliss" is an Adams solo composition - a second spoken invocation floating over a bed of electronics - before the track mutates into the fuzzed-out space rock of Black's "Karmic Vortex," which for almost ten minutes pits delayed guitars and oscillating synths against crunchy bass.


Next up, "Please adjust your body clock" - another SF announcement - then "Technology," introducing lead vocalist James Hodkinson (ex-Assassins Of Silence, now with Xoo) on a tale of techno-cloning. This track is slow and atmospheric, with Paul Blackman's sax proving a fine diversion; and more great bass from Adams. Penultimate track "End Of Something" is an extended (almost fifteen minutes) progressive epic, featuring Kim Novak's vocals, Sky Sownd's flute and Cyndee Lee Rule's viper-violin. The track weaves through moods and atmospheres on a monumental tale of light over darkness; particularly good keyboards on this track, while Cyndee is on outstanding form.


Space cadets will welcome this varied album of out-there rock, which for fans of Hawkwind, Krel and their ilk should make very enjoyable listening. (Stephen Palmer)

(no sleeve provided)



(CD from www.rocketrecordings.com )


God, I love this band. Love, love, love them. Hailing from London, they’ve shuffled their line-up slightly since their debut album, ‘Orphaned by the Ocean’ (an album I urged you to hear at the time, so if you didn’t take me up on the introduction then you only have yourselves to blame), but for all that they’re if anything tighter now, sounding at one and the same time like an out of control juggernaut hurtling through a fog bank and a lone bird circling over a mountain. As I may have mentioned before, their sound reminds me at times of another London-based outfit, Spaceheads, a duo who frequently blasted themselves into outer space with the help of various electronic effects (including once, memorably, at an early Terrastock festival in San Francisco), and in terms of guitar sound of Hovercraft, who likewise once played Terrastock (but a different one, I think.). Should there be another Terrastock any time soon, Teeth of the Sea will be high on the list of bands I’d love to invite.


Theirs is a heady fermentation of sound which incorporates not just drum-loops and trumpet, but space-rock, drone, Kosmische musik (particularly on the awesome ‘Hypnoticon Viva’) and progressive rock time-changes. Anyone who caught them on tour recently at their gig with Thought Forms in Bristol, or with established Terrascopic favourites Wooden Shjips, The Heads or especially Oneida, will recognise this psychedelic tour de force of acid-fried guitar/drum mayhem immediately as they chose to close their set with it – no easy act to follow.


On ‘Hypnoticon’, a CD-EP forerunner to their forthcoming (June 2010 apparently) second album, Teeth of the Sea close out the set with an aurally stunning visage of haunting, panoramic ambience entitled ‘The Island Is’ which immediately put me in mind of Texan post-rock wonder-band This Will Destroy You. But with added trumpet. This is no bad thing and I can’t begin to recommend this band highly enough. Too early for release of the year for 2010? Probably. This makes my top 10 of 2009 though, easily. (Phil McMullen)






Eschewing the usual side A and B, the latest album by Bird by Snow, chooses instead to name each side of the LP, with "Songbread" representing nourishment and "Another Ocean" representing Expansion. Whilst this may seem a trivial point, add it to the wonderful packaging, clear vinyl, lyric booklet and enclosed sheet of poetry and you realise that a huge amount of thought and care has gone into this release, a realisation that in these days of mass consumerism, there is still a place for craftsmanship and human endeavour.

Containing ten songs, the music on this release has been given the same care as the packaging, the beautiful arrangements adding depth and grace to the gentle music and wonderful vocal performance. Throughout the album there is a spiritual longing to be found, the richness of the music suggesting quiet contemplation in remote place, a wilderness than can be found within. These thought are echoed by the lyrics and also the explanation given for each song, these writings adding richness to the listening experience.

After the warm beauty of "Domestic Freedom", the haunting drone of an electric Shruti ushers in "If You Wait", Cello and Bowed Banjo offering atmosphere to the this devotional prayer to the soul. With added drums, "Caveman Baby" adds volume yet retains the intimate feel, tape loops, singing bowls, and Dulcimer all utilised to great effect, the song fading into the sound of crackling fire and wind.

With an album of such quality it is impossible to pick highlights, the flow of the album as vital as the individual songs, however, moving to the "Another Ocean" side, the title song (preceded by the sounds of the ocean) aches with longing, displaying an intensity so lacking in commercial music these days, whilst "My Life is Easy" seems to be a rallying call for acceptance, the sonorous voice pointing out how joyful and rewarding life can be, all we need is to reign in our greed, harness our desires and live in the now. Maybe these are my interpretations only, but I feel this is the undercurrent of the whole album, life is a journey, a brief flash of light, we should experience all we can and be truly happy. (Simon Lewis)






As well as touring with Espers, playing in Niagara Falls and running Honeymoon Records, Norman Fetter somehow finds time to record electronic music under the name Enumaclaw.

Housed in a gorgeous cover and limited to 500 copies, this latest offering contains six slices of Kosmich music influenced by Ash Ra Tempel, Popol Vuh and Tangerine Dream as well as nodding to minimalist compositions and more modern electronic acts such as Pete Namlook or Irresistible Force.

Opening with the title track, slow and languorous synth washes are soon joined by rolling, chattering percussion and the sounds of alien life forms, the piece maintaining a relaxed and hypnotic feel throughout. Occupying the rest of side one, the magnificent "Third Prime" could well be the centrepiece of the album. A blend of synthesised sounds, the track is pushed along by gently pulsing sequences that remind me of the Orb at their most ambient and playful. The effect is like sitting on a beach in the sunshine, nothing to do but stare at the sea and soak it all in. By the end of the track you are almost too relaxed to get up and turn the disc, although the effort is instantly rewarded as the Hillage like guitars of "Harmonic Convergence" weave their magic upon your chilled out ears. Slowly notes begin to tumble over each other and a rising drone ascends then dissipates and then repeats, creating a languid sparkling piece of music that is a joy to hear.

With a suitably blissed out opening, the magical sound of "Blue Star Kachina" is possibly my favourite track, mellow and golden in its construction, a gentle candle flame of sound that flickers and spins around the room. More primitive in its bearing, the tribal drums of "Evening’s Empire" are the perfect foil for the moody sounds that play around them, whilst the final track "Sunset From the Glass House" is an ambient drone that washes over you soothing and caressing your soul before the arrival of playful percussion awakens your senses one last time. Played and produced with warmth and precision, this is an album that rewards being listened to; the use of headphones is recommended. (Simon Lewis)







Recorded in just three hours after Jim Holmberg was discovered playing in a park by ESP label bosses, this extraordinary album has been unavailable since its first pressing in 1969. Having suffered an auto accident that damaged his skull, Jim claimed to perceive colour and sound differently, something that coloured his psychedelic folk songs giving them a weird sheen, his vocals sometimes breaking out into a strange shrieking yodel. If the word yodel has the effect of putting you off, then don’t worry, there is a restraint applied to the technique and the album is in fact filled with wonderful, cosmic songs, the acoustic guitar fleshed out with echo and reverberation, giving a unique perspective and vitality to the songs.


Opening song "Two Stars" is vaguely reminiscent in style of early Al Stewart, without the nasal twang, the strummed guitar and hippie lyrics having a charm and capturing the era it was recorded in. With some strange psych-whistling and the weird yodel style, "Grok (Martian Love Call)" takes the music further out there, confirming that this is indeed outsider music, one mans vision captured with a raw intensity that a prolonged time in the studio would have undoubtedly destroyed.


Moving on, shades of Roky Erickson and Arthur Lee can be heard on "Romeo and Juliet", whilst on "Little Boy", the lyrical bleakness/disengagement of Skip Spence is present, giving the song a twisted blackness suggesting madness is not too far away. Finally on side one, "Lookin’ Out Today", is sixties acid-folk in its most unrefined form, the free-form lyrics painting strange pictures in your mind.


This feel is extended for the first three songs on side two, with "Planet of a Flower" being the pick of a fine trio of tunes, although the reverb drenched "Never Be Free" comes close behind. All of which brings us to "Look Into the (K) Night", the eight minute album closer, the song showing that behind the strangeness is an excellent guitarist whose music is focused and thoughtful, an artist who is following his own artistic vision. Starting slowly, the tune is a slowly unfolding epic, the shimmering guitar weaving subtle magic, sometimes dissolving under the reverb, sometimes dancing around the cosmos in acid soaked finery. Halfway in, there is a sudden burst of noise and the yodelling commences, here it makes perfect sense and you could imagine Sonic Youth covering the song with feedback a-plenty, although the energy on show here is remarkable considering an acoustic guitar and a couple of effects were used.


Not just a novelty, this album is a sincere attempt to record one man’s vision, something it seems to have achieved, with the raw spontaneity still intact, well worth tracking down and definitely Terrascopic. (Simon Lewis)


(VINYL LP/CD  http://www.somedarkholler.com/he_discography.html )

Hauntingly beautiful, this album is a mesmerising and spiritual journey that requires several plays before the true majesty of the songs is revealed. As with all things touched by the hand of Timothy Renner, this is a distinct and individual quest, the musical infused in one man’s personal visions, the rhythmic pulse of the banjo taking the song ever forward to stunning effect, the sympathetic arrangements and playing adding to the quality.

     Opening with “The Song of the Bone-White Bird”, one can’t help but be drawn in by the lines “I heard the fingers of the dead, Clawing from inside my head”, you just know that something magical is going to happen, the hypnotic banjo deepening the mystery, whilst the voice soars in sonorous delight.

    As with all Dark Holler releases there is a sonic cohesiveness, running through the album, with “The Vision of the Face in the Well”, having the same hypnotic quality, the excellent guitar embellishments making one of the standout tracks for me, reminiscent of the work of  Crow Tongue.

   Housed in a wonderful sleeve and including a lyric booklet, the information fails to name any of the players, merely the instruments involved, I had to search the net to find out what a coyote melon was, sounds great though, the instruments blending in simple perfection, allowing the visions to be clearly heard.

   Final track on side one is the eerie “Even the Dead Shall Sing”, the wonderfully realised lyrics benefitting from a simple riff and droning backing voices, the song painting pictures in your mind, taking you far from the everyday world.

    Dedicated to The Blessed Virgin, Saint Mary: the whole of side two is taken up with the devotional “Shepherdess of the Fiery Wheels”, a powerful and meditational contemplation, written in the language of the Old Testament, the imagery twisted in metaphor, lit by candlelight and swathed in sackcloth. As much a prayer as a song, this piece is best heard alone, or at least, in silence, without the drone and hum of modern life or chattering friends. (Simon Lewis)


( 2XCD www.aztecmusic.net)


 Although it has been difficult to get hold of, I suspect that most readers will be familiar with this album through tape trading, the internet and word of mouth. Regarded as a flawed masterpiece, the album was recorded as the band slowly disintegrated, the addition of a new guitarist pushing the band into a soul/pop direction that grated with the original members of the group. For the listeners these tensions mean the disc contains some magnificent psych/freakbeat alongside some truly insipid and awful soul covers, meaning that flawed tag is truly justified. Of course, with modern digital technology you can edit out the naffness and create a rather fine collection of tunes, due to the fact that this beautifully compiled disc also contains early singles, demos and rehearsal tapes, offering the listener a much more balanced overview of the musical power of group.

  With the same sonic groove as “Paint it black”, Australian freaks must have flipped their wigs as opening track “But One day” burst out of the speakers in a shimmering lysergic haze, complete with backwards guitar, phasing and snarling lyrics. Equally fine, “Wars, or Hands of Time” is another psych pop gem with a Yardbirds sheen, the song rattling along with joyous energy. Next up a spirited cover of “Dancing Girl (Bo Diddley), with some fine guitar work to make you dance, the mood of the first three song suddenly deflated by a weirdly slow version of “I Feel Fine” that sounds like it was recorded with hangovers included and is so out of place on the disc, not horrible, just wrong.

   This lack of energy becomes a real problem on “My Girl”, a truly horrible cover version that makes you rush to the skip button, what were they thinking of?, it is hard to fathom why this was included except that the band truly didn’t care anymore, tired of in-fighting and constant struggle. To make thing worst, Undecided is an R and B stomper that kicks ass, mean fuzz guitar turned up and lyrics spat out with venom, highlighting how good the band could be, the fact that both songs were included on the disc seem even more incomprehensible.

    Stepping back into Stones territory, “Hot Gully Wind” is another high energy track that gets your head shaking, the following track “Theme for a Social Climber” proves itself to be a soft psych tune with some almost jazzy guitar fills that really work. Less successful, the slow groove of “Don’t Fight It” has its moments but seems to lack energy, whilst the cover of “Johnny B Goode” is bog-standard; you wouldn’t miss it if it wasn’t there. To end the original album, “Buried and Dead” is a fine slice of Garage with an excellent middle section lifting above the pack, ending the record on a high.

So that is the original album, flawed indeed but well worth owning especially as disc one continues with the addition of three singles (both sides) recorded in 67-68. Almost the epitome of whimsical psych, think Kaleidoscope (UK), “Living in a Child’s Dream” is a magnificent track, and I have wonder why it was not on the album as its mood would have suited the collection so much better than the covers that were included. Equally as good, “Tired of Wandering” is another psych gem of high quality, making for one hell of a single. Heavier in construction, “Elevator Driver” may or may not have a drug undercurrent, but it certainly sounds like it, whilst “Brigette” is a soft and gentle song that, again, sound like Kaleidoscope (UK), in fact if you like that band, you will love these bonus tracks, although the alternative version of “I Feel Fine” is as baffling as the album version.
Stepping back in time, disc two contains studio demos and rehearsal tapes recorded in 1966, the music revealing the bands roots in the British beat boom, the sounds of The Animals, Rolling Stones, Pretty Things etc, easily discernible in the music. Having said that, the band are excellent, with covers of “Inside Looking Out” and “In The Pines” plus “Poor Boy” the one original, being the pick of a strong set of demos.

To round of this lavish collection, we get a 15 track rehearsal session the band blasting through a set of originals and standards including “Got My Mojo Working”, Roadrunner” and “Not Fade Away” to name but three, whilst the band original “Bye Bye baby” easily holds its own in such company. Crudely recorded the rough sound quality still allows you to hear everything and adds to the charm of the collection and if they ever invent a time machine,, I am going back to check them out, get drunk and have a bloody good time.

Housed in an eight panel digi-pack, with 27 bonus tracks and including comprehensive sleeve note and photos, comment from band members all spread over a 28 page booklet, Aztec Music have done themselves proud with this release, the good far out weighing the bad, flawed but still essential. (Simon Lewis)