Music Reviews
Various Artists

Various Artists

Brown Acid – The Tenth Trip

Riding Easy Records

Time to drop some brown acid and take a trip back to 1966. Rock and roll had just turned electric and America was turning on, tuning in and dropping out. The fine people at Riding Easy Records are the de-facto curators of this sound, they give the past a safe house for guitar excesses and weird early synthesizer goofiness. Riding Easy hunts down obscurities that never made the Top Ten but should have. Their “Brown Acid” series finds ancient gems, cleans up the audio and fixes the legal problems so we can relieve our past.

We begin this trip with “Plastic Thunder” by Bitter Creek. This 1970 track features heavy guitar work and screaming vocals. The cut was their only release, it was just a 45, and they hailed from Atlanta, Ga which at the time was about as far as you could get from acid rock. I’m glad to hear it, and we are lucky to have it. Next we skip ahead to “Babylon” by a group called “Conception.” This a cover of a Blue Cheer 1969 release, and its start-stop guitar paying gives it a near dance like quality. Interesting drumming adds to the mystique, and it’s a solid piece of music that holds up to any of today retro Acid Rockers. Next let’s spin the best band name. “First State Bank” rocks out on “Mr. Sun.” It’s the oft told tale of wanting your woman back. Why did she leave? We’ll never know, and neither party is willing to talk.

Finally, I’ll leave you with one more recommendation. The Brood offers more unheeded advice on a track named “The Roach.” They advise: “Don’t kill the roach, save it for a rainy day.” It’s an exuberant party song with flailing guitars and cheap keyboards and frenetic vocals. While I haven’t heard all 10 of this Riding Easy collections, this is my third trip with them, and I’ve never been disappointed. Kudos to this great label for preserving all this rock and roll history and passing it on to the grandchildren of these bands’ fans. Who know? They may be hippie stoners and not even know it. Peace, love, and dope. Aloha.

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