Various Artists – Brown Acid: The Eleventh Trip

Various Artists – Brown Acid: The Eleventh Trip
RidingEasy Records
Release Date: 31/10/2020
Running Time: 32:42
Review by Alun Jones
8/10

One of the best things about the Brown Acid series is imagining the alternate reality where these songs, long forgotten in the mists of rock’n’roll legend, actually attained the success so many of them deserve. A world where these long-lost bands are as equally revered as BÖC, Grand Funk or the MC5. The same world, probably, where Lemmy’s still alive, Trump never got near the White House and the last Star Wars film came out in 1983.

But maybe that’s just me. What I do know, is that the Brown Acid series from RidingEasy Records offers up another batch of ten proto heavy rockers that have been excavated from the depths of memory and given new purpose. Lovingly curated and nursed back to life; then unleashed upon a musical landscape that didn’t know it needed the songs, but by Jimi – we’re thankful for them.

The first track on this compilation, ‘Something Else’ by Adam Wind, didn’t flip my switch much at first. After a couple of plays, however, the Hendrix style guitar frenzy did the trick. Then the marvellously named Grump rock out with ‘I’ll Give You Love’, reminiscent of the mighty Steppenwolf with skronky organs and scratchy guitar.

‘Diamond Lady’ from Larry Lynn is a fantastic punchy, psychedelic number. Then midway through the album, we get ‘In Wyrd’ by Renaissance Fare. This track sounds like the Doors being particularly annoying when they’re on the wrong drugs. Thankfully, at under 3 minutes, it avoids some of Jimbo and pals’ lengthier exasperations; it’s the only challenge on an otherwise album of rock’n’roll killers.

My highlight of the collection is ‘Just Can’t Say’ by Day Break – a boogie influenced groover with desert rock swagger. Debb Johnson contribute ‘Dancing In The Ruin’, which packs Stax style brass to great effect, and finally Crazy Jerry rounds things off with the riff-tastic ‘Every Girl Gets One’.

The Eleventh Trip in this series continues to surprise and entertain. It’s a compilation that’s so solid you’d need a forklift to move it. Dig out your flares and love beads, heat up the lava lamp – it’s party time again!

By the way, I invented the term “skronky organs” and I’m trademarking it.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Adam Wind – Something Else
02. Grump – I’ll Give You Love
03. Bagshot Row – Turtle Wax Blues
04. Larry Lynn – Diamond Lady
05. Renaissance Fair – In Wyrd
06. Zendik – Mom’s Apple Pie Boy
07. Day Break – Just Can’t Say
08. West Minist’r – I Want You
09. Debb Johnson – Dancing in the Ruin
10. Crazy Jerry – Every Girl Gets One

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

The Goners – Good Mourning

The Goners – Good Mourning
RidingEasy Records
Release Date: 13/03/2020
Running Time: 41:37
Review by Alun Jones
8.5/10

This little beauty threw off it’s shackles and ran for the hills, almost without me noticing. I’m blaming the societal breakdown caused by Corona virus, obviously not an oversight on my part. No, sir. “Good Mourning” – the debut album from The Goners – was released back in March 2020; just before the world turned into a 1970’s Charlton Heston dystopian sci-fi movie.

The Goners are comprised of Nate Gone – formerly of Salem’s Pot – on vocals, with four dudes from Swedish rock band Yvonne. “Good Mourning” is a throw-back to zoned-out good times and bizarro occult rock, with absolutely no regret the morning after.

First song ‘Are You Gone Yet’ sets the pace nicely: fuzzy 60’s garage rock with a proto metal ferocity. With the next track, ‘High, Low And Never In Between’, the Goners throw in more of their other specialty – 70’s doom with groovy, care-free freak outs.

Wonderfully out of time, this retro feast also sounds totally now. You can throw this on your portable music system and liven up any social gathering (so long as you stay far enough apart). Press play and jump around all crazy-style to ‘Evil (Is Not Enough)’ and ‘The Little Blue’ – this is Black Sabbath if they were a Stones cover band.

Plus – and this seals the deal – a couple of fine, desert bleached songs in ‘Good Ol’ Death’ and ‘Dead In The Saddle’ that rattle with a dread atmosphere. Absolutely essential for your next David Lynch/rockabilly/goth themed horror party.

“Good Mourning” by The Goners, then: if you’re a werewolf biker trapped in a cursed world you never made, but like to let your scraggy hair down with chicks from a Russ Meyer movie – this is for you. Great cover art, too.

I’ve thought I was a goner myself, on a few occasions: most of them involving my old mucker Ozzy Osbourne. One time, we were drinking in a golf club in LA and got thrown out, as you can imagine.  So, Ozzy decided to go for a joyride in a golf buggy, with me on shotgun. He was flooring it, but we were only going at a jogging pace, so the golfers soon caught us up and were ready to brain us with their hitty-stick things.

All of a sudden, Oz drove the buggy over a hill and we toppled into a sand dune (bunker?). We were lucky we were thrown clear and the buggy just managed to avoid crushing the pair of us. The golfers took pity and consoled us with a nice brandy in the clubhouse. Till the cops turned up, and dragged Ozzy and me off to jail. The whole time, we were both wearing Sharon’s dresses.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Are You Gone Yet
02. High, Low and Never In Between
03. World Of Decay
04. Evil (Is Not Enough)
05. Good Ol’ Death
06. The Sickening
07. Down and Out
08. You Better Run
09. The Little Blue
10 Dead In The Saddle (Dead Moon)

LINE-UP:
Nate Gone
Mick Dagger
Vic Odin
Timo Tinto
Grave Dave

LINKS:
www.thegonestgoners.bandcamp.com/
www.facebook.com/thegonestgoners/
www.instagram.com/thegonestgoners/
www.open.spotify.com/artist/6Sm7cJ4MVMohAkynq7uEhS
www.ridingeasyrecs.com/

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Various Artists – Brown Acid: The Tenth Trip

Various Artists – Brown Acid: The Tenth Trip
RidingEasy Records
Release date: 26/06/2020
Running time: 32:33
Review by Alun Jones
8.5/10

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.

TRACKLISTING:
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

LINKS:
www.ridingeasyrecs.com/
www.ridingeasyrecords.bandcamp.com/
www.facebook.com/ridingeasyrecords
www.twitter.com/EasyRiderRecord
www.instagram.com/easyriderrecord/
www.youtube.com/channel/UCfcKvfj8ei5GD2YVtLYhaoQ

www.permanentrecordsla.com
www.facebook.com/permanentrecordsla/
www.instagram.com/permanentrecordsla/

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Randy Holden – Population II

Randy Holden – Population II
RidingEasy Records
Release date: 28/02/2020 (Delayed Due to Covid-19, New Date Soon)
Running time: 30:25
Review by Alun Jones
8.5/10

First of all, an important note for all readers: Randy Holden is NOT the name of a winning hand in strip poker. I used the phrase at a recent gathering at my Rock’n’Roll Naturist Society club, and nearly got a bunch of fives from Ozzy as a thank you. Tommy Lee was up for it though, as you can probably imagine.

Anyway, Randy Holden is actually a guitar pioneer who served some time with proto-metal giants Blue Cheer, before splitting to take the helm of his own project.  Population II was the result – a far ahead of it’s time Big Bang of doom and sludge metal.  

Originally receiving a limited release in 1969, this album has earned cult status with afficionados of early heavy rock. And it’s no surprise why; “Population II” is a huge sounding, riff driven behemoth that sounds like it simply can’t have been created in that time period.

But it was! The era that popular culture tells us was the age of peace and love also birthed this unholy slab of heavy noise. Randy Holden, like his previous bandmates in Blue Cheer, was happily stomping all over flower power.

Of course, “Population II” is totally over the top. ‘Guitar Song’ is the first track, featuring the somewhat unimaginative opening line “I love the sound of a guitar playing” – so no marks for lyrical finesse.  If you’re after poetry, this probably ain’t for you. Instead it’s six minutes of slow, heavy driving riff-based rock that sets the tone for the album.

‘Fruit Icebergs’ is an outstanding name for any song; in fact, I might steal it for a band name. Slow like cooling lava, with a doom-laden melancholic sound – It’s dark in a Sabbath way. Whereas the shorter ‘Between Time’ picks up the pace a little and borrows a chorus from ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’.

‘Blue My Mind’ is less gloomy, but certainly taps into the blues with a hint of Hendrix. The final song, ‘Keeper Of My Flame’ is over 10 minutes of pulsating, repetitive riff wrestling that doesn’t out stay it’s welcome. Ol’ Randy stretches for the epic here and pretty much nails it, strangling that guitar and taking the listener on a heroic journey.

Yet another history lesson for which we can thank the scholars at Riding Easy Records, Randy Holden’s “Population II” is back in circulation and worth taking time to investigate. You’ll wonder how this was lost for so long.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Guitar Song
02. Fruit Icebergs
03. Between Time
04. Fruit Icebergs (Conclusion)
05. Blue My Mind
06. Keeper of my Flame

LINKS:
www.ridingeasyrecs.com/
www.ridingeasyrecords.bandcamp.com/
www.facebook.com/ridingeasyrecords
twitter.com/EasyRiderRecord
www.youtube.com/channel/UCfcKvfj8ei5GD2YVtLYhaoQ
www.instagram.com/easyriderrecord/

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Various Artists – Brown Acid: The Ninth Trip

Various Artists – Brown Acid: The Ninth Trip
RidingEasy Records
Release Date: 31/10/2019
Running Time: 36:00
Review by Alun Jones
7.5/10

Archaeologists of rock from RidingEasy Records have once again delved into the depths of the forgotten to present this, the ninth instalment of their “Brown Acid” series. They have unearthed yet more obscure gems from the past, in order to entertain and enlighten those obsessives who love to investigate the DNA of rock.

Call it heavy rock, proto metal, garage rock – whatever, these Brown Acid compilations offer a wealth of hard to find material.

The songs may be long lost relics, but they sure ain’t amateur. In fact, it’s surprising how well they’ve cleaned up – and how well produced some of them were in the first place. Take the first track, White Lightning’s ‘Prelude To Opus IV’, which is surprisingly grand and opulent.

I won’t play favourites, but Peacepipe’s ‘The Sun Won’t Shine Forever’ has an almost Stooges like sound, filtered through Californian psychedelia. Magi’s ‘Win Or Lose’ sounds like Grand Funk playing an MC5 song, while Stonewall’s ‘Outer Spaced’ holds the most outrageous riff of the set, with perhaps a touch of Hendrix.

Elsewhere, the fantastically named Fibreglass Vegetables offer up a more laid back, groovy but still heavy song with ‘Pain’. ‘Rebel Woman’ by Erik (a simpler name, but that’s cool) is another superb rocker that demonstrates some real song writing and arranging talent.

Not as bluesy as Zeppelin or as heavy as Sabbath, the songs on offer are a fine example of Rock’n’Roll of the time. It doesn’t take much to imagine the guys from Fu Manchu listening to these pre-stoner rock goodies, sat in their van waiting for the cry of “surf’s up”.

This ninth edition of the Brown Acid compilation offers retro quality, never kitsch or silly, with tons of infectious music. It’s easy to wonder why some of these bands never became more famous. At least RidingEasy have done the hard work for us, dusting off the artefacts and preserving them for all to enjoy.

TRACKLISTING:

01. White Lightning – “Prelude to Opus IV”
02. Peacepipe – “The Sun Won’t Shine Forever”
03. Magi – “Win or Lose”
04. Fibreglass Vegetables – “Pain”
05. Erik – “Rebel Woman”
06. Stonewall – “Outer Spaced”
07. Ice – “Running High”
08. Spacerock – “Going Down the Road”
09. Buckshot – “Barstar”
10. 29.9 – “Paradiddle Blues”

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.