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So far, one volume of this exists for Indiana. There’s THREE Ohio volumes, THREE Florida volumes, but NO New Jersey volumes. Does anybody know of a New Jersey garage/frat rock/60s/70s comp? -Ian!

Gear Fab’s Psychedelic States series, which collects vintage 1960s garage rock singles on a regional, state-by-state basis, is extremely valuable in an archaeological sort of way, since these rare 45-rpm artifacts afford an interesting glimpse into the music of a specific time, place, and demographic, and in a larger context, allow for a region-to-region comparison of the similarities and differences in the garage band phenomenon. That’s the scholarly way to look at these collections. Musically, however, most of these singles are badly recorded, poorly performed, and clich├ęd and derivative at almost every level, which, of course, is probably why they’re so prized by collectors. This volume, which spotlights the Hoosier State, abounds with badly recorded, rhythmically challenged bands that scream and fuzz-chord their way through crude songs with a take-no-prisoners attitude and little else going for them. In other words, it’s an utterly fascinating glimpse at a time in the U.S. when every garage on the block seemed to have a band rehearsing in it, a glimpse at a true suburban folk movement where owning an instrument was at least as important as knowing how to properly play it and nowhere close to as important as the need to simply make noise.

Nothing here redefines Indiana as the epicenter of rock & roll in the 1960s, and nothing here was even so much as a regional hit, but this collection (like the others in this series) has all the charm of a truly bad horror film, the kind where you can’t help but root for the monster to destroy everything in sight. Highlights? It’s hard to say. The Endd’s shaky, tottering “Gonna Send You Back to Your Mother” from 1967 is spooky and oddly haunting, even infectious in a creepy way. The Chevelles’ “Just Once in My Life,” also from 1967, bounces along on a simple yet effective melody. The Serfmen’s “Cry” from 1964 is a fascinatingly ragged hybrid of “Louie, Louie” and “Twist and Shout.” The Jades’ “Come Back” from 1967 is simple and solid, and might even have been a hit if it weren’t so derivatively generic, which makes one wonder even more why it wasn’t a hit. Again, this collection will probably mean more to historians and collectors than it will to anyone else, and none of these singles could be deemed essential by any stretch of reasoning, but by sheer accumulation these raw, ragged sides show that there was indeed something happening, Mr. Jones, even in Indiana.

-Steve Leggett,

Supplemental visual accompaniment:


Various Artists-PSYCHEDELIC STATES: INDIANA IN THE 60’s VOL. 1 (2006 compilation)
320kbps, testing out a new upload service

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