Various Artists – Brown Acid: The Tenth Trip
Release date: 26/06/2020
Running time: 32:33
Review by Alun Jones
Between me and you, I’ve been wondering when this series of proto metal/heavy psyche long-lost artifacts would start to go off the boil. This is the tenth instalment now, and any listener could be forgiven for thinking that maybe, the well might run dry. That the party is over, the acid has worn off, and the hippies have traded in their kaftans for the last time. I mean, how much of these rare, forgotten nuggets can there be left, for the rock’n’roll gravediggers at RidingEasy Records/Permanent Records LA to exhume?
Well pardon me for being a fanboy, but the Brown Acid trip is far from over. In fact, this could be my favourite volume so far.
Yes, it’s more of the same: fuzzy, psychedelic late 60’s/early 70’s heavy rock; somehow cast aside for around fifty years, waiting to be rediscovered. Gems that pre-date and redefine the genealogical development of metal and hard rock; throwing the long-standing theories of origin into dispute like some musical Antikythera mechanism. But this time, if anything, the tunes are better than ever.
Here we have Sounds Synonymous with ‘Tensions’, a fuzz-rock monster with a ‘Wild Thing’ feel and washes of freaky organ not a million miles removed from Steppenwolf. Witness also the wonder of ‘Never Again’ from Ralph Williams and the Wright Brothers, melding melodic vocals with an ‘American Woman’ style desert rock vibe. ‘Babylon’ by Conception rolls with some funky, Hendrix-like riffs and a great pop sensibility, not to mention a fabulous bluesy instrumental section.
Bitter Creek deliver ‘Plastic Thunder’, which has a Who meets Stooges aggressive sound. On ‘Mr. Sun’, First State Bank (rad name!) provide a Mountain-covering-the-Kinks lesson in far-out groovery. Then there’s Brothers and One with the saucily titled ‘Hard On Me’, which has a little Hawkwind on a road to Maiden’s ‘Running Free’.
Probably the best track is ‘The Roach’, by The Brood (another quality name). It’s a MC5/Sabbath garage rocker with apocalyptic horns and keys, heralding the end of peace and love and the arrival of the age of doom.
Freaky, fuzzy and far-out: that’s the latest edition of Brown Acid. If you’re late to the party, jump on the magic bus right now and let your hair down. Signs are this festival is gonna run and run.
01. Sounds Synonymous – Tensions
02. Ralph Williams and the Wright Brothers – Never Again
03. Conception – Babylon
04. Bitter Creek – Plastic Thunder
05. The Rubber Memory – All Together
06. First State Bank – Mr Sun
07. Brothers & One – Hard On Me
08. Frozen Sun – Electric Soul
09. The Brood – The Roach
10. Tabernash – Head Collect
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