Agony Shorthand

Friday, April 29, 2005

Much like "Outlaws In My Eye" may be the definitive document for 70s Texas punk, so too is "Groovy Little Trip" for 60s Texas punk and fuzz-heavy psychedelia. And it's probably just as legitimate, which is to say not very. While not all of the heavy hitters are on here -- the best 60s punk tune of all, MURPHY AND THE MOB's "Born Loser" is missing, as is the TWILIGHTERS' "Nothing Can Bring Me Down" -- it's a pretty ripping batch of sweaty garage and heavy, drug-fueled, seeing-eye psychedelic rock. I recognized a few classics from that 90s series of CD compilations called "Texas Flashback" that turned me on to The Twilighters -- including the buzzing keyboard-led "Hangin' Out" by THE BLOX and the absolutely wild fuzz killer "On The Road South" by the STEREO SHOESTRING. But much of this is brand new to me, and it is truly mind-expanding stuff. Did you know the ZAKARY THAKS of "Bad Girl" infamy (pictured above) actually morphed several times, going distorted & loud (as opposed to raw and bashing) first, then out-and-out heavy mid-tempo psych later? Neither did I until I heard "Green Crystal Ties" and "My Door" by the band. Moreover, THE LIBERTY BELL and THE LIVING END have several true winners as well, and though I probably read about them in "Kicks" at one point and forgot about 'em, I can honestly say I've never heard of these bands. Another one that startled me right out of the gate is a straight-up 60s punker by THE REDDLEMEN called "I'm Gonna Get In That Girl's Mind", which I've since learned is on some comp I already have but really stands proud here as the disc's kick-off track. In 30 numbers, I'm hard-pressed to find one that's not at least moderately hot. I'm starting to think Texas is at least half as culturally relevant a state as California.