Agony Shorthand

Monday, November 07, 2005

Among garage completists, the sort who have a far lower quality marker than most of us, Sacramento's IKON label is one of the must-have record dork labels, if only because their 1963-66 stuff has been so incredibly hard to find. A local label like no other, Ikon kept the 45s sold close to home and in limited pressings, even though a good chunk of their releases were middlin'-to-upper middlin' and the rest were tossed-off covers & retreads. It was obviously a true labor of love to put this 60-track collection together, but let us not confuse something deserving of heaps of respect & admiration with the long-lost 60s garage punk package you've been waiting for. That has probably ceased to exist since the last of the "Teenage Shutdown"s dribbled out. Even with Crypt's endorsement, this massive overview only contains a couple of bold revalations. If you need to know what those are, they are the screaming-gnarly track from MADD INC. that opens up Disc 1, "I'll Be The One", and a winning minor-key burner buried on Disc 2 called "I Can Never Say" from the PARISH HALL BLUES QUINTET. A few surf numbers from the NERVOUS KATS make the cut as well. The remainder tests the patience as much as any Boulders comp or any other local/label-based 60s collection. Stones covers? Check. Byrds knock-offs? Sure. Inept balladry from bedroom Associations? I'm afraid so. I hate to be the proverbial turd in the champagne flute (apologies to Beth Lisick, whose book I just read), but your existence will remain happy, upwardly mobile and sexually satisfying should you hit the fork in life's journey & choose to pass on this collection.