Agony Shorthand

Friday, July 16, 2004
RANDOM GENIUS: CARETAKERS OF DECEPTION : “CUTTIN’ GRASS” 45.....Right up there with monster psychedelic punk tracks from the TWILIGHTERS and STEREO SHOESTRING is this wild & foaming one from Southern California’s CARETAKERS OF DECEPTION, a 1967 single called “Cuttin’ Grass / X+Y=13”. I’m not that into the B-side, but “Cuttin’ Grass” is random genius personified. It sort of kicks in like the band’s already been playing for a few minutes, and features this lunatic vocalist ranting about how he “cannot see, because you’ve taken my eyes from me”, among other non-sequiters. There’s the de rigueur psych-era hallucinogenic keyboards hovering in the background, except these harsh tones are really demented & wavering, as if the guy is using them to prop his drug-addled carcass up rather than actually playing them. It’s a really hard-driving punk rock song at heart, and when it fades, you also get the sense the band’s going to really grind it out for another 20 minutes until the buzz wears off. You can find it on a 1979 comp called “ACID DREAMS, VOL. 1” and by careful, methodical file-sharing. Good luck!