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Sunday, 23 April 2017

Riding Easy Records - Brown Acid Series (Updated)


One of the great things about music for me is discovery of older songs and albums, the lost gems, the less visible.
Brown Acid takes in HeavyPsych and Stoner Rock mostly from the 1970's and described by the Label 'Riding Easy Records' as being "Heavy Rock From the American Comedown Era".
Step inside and you get dirty riffs and tracks that offer a different side of where Heavy was during the 70s; nothing here is overblown, no 15 minute piccolo solo's that form part of a 3 hour long stadium concept record about famed monarchs on an ice skating rink.




The first trip was released in August 2015 at the time of release Riding Easy Records wrote this piece about the idea around the compilation.

Some of the best thrills of the Internet music revolution is the ability to find extremely rare music with great ease. But even with such vast archives to draw from, quite a lot of great songs have gone undiscovered for nearly half a decade, particularly in genres that lacked hifalutin arty pretense. Previously, only the most extremely dedicated and passionate record collectors had the stamina and prowess to hunt down long forgotten wonders in dusty record bins — often hoarding them in private collections, or selling at ridiculous collector’s prices. Legendary compilations like Nuggets, Pebbles, ad nauseum, have exhausted the mines of early garage rock and proto-punk, keeping alive a large cross-section of underground ephemera. However, few have delved into and expertly archived the wealth of proto-metal, pre-stoner rock tracks of Brown Acid: The First Trip. Lance Barresi, co-owner of L.A.-cum-Chicago shop Permanent Records has shown incredible persistence in tracking down a stellar collection of rare singles from the 60s and 70s for the 11-track compilation. Partnered with Daniel Hall of RidingEasy Records, the two have assembled a selection of songs that’s hard to believe have remained unheard for so long. "I essentially go through Hell and high water just to find these records,” Barresi says. “Once I find a record worthy of tracking, I begin the (sometimes) extremely arduous process of contacting the band members and encouraging them to take part. Daniel and I agree that licensing all the tracks we're using for Brown Acid is best for everyone involved.” Rather than simply bootlegging the tracks, when all of the bands and labels haven’t existed for 30-40 years or more, tracking down the creators gives all of these tunes a real second chance at success. “ All of (these songs) could've been huge given the right circumstances,” says Barresi. “But for one reason or another most of these songs fell flat and were forgotten. However, time has been kind in my opinion and I think these songs are as good now or better than they ever were."





2016 gave us the Second trip in the summer and built on its predecessors successes and offered more heavy duty RocknRoll, as already noted the process of locating these songs is long and arduous, and yet once again the calibre of music that made it on was incredibly high.
As noted with the First Trip, "it’s a solid set of unknown hits you can’t believe failed to connect back in their heyday due to various unfortunate circumstances, but now Brown Acid gives these long-lost gems their well deserved moment to shine."






If you thought R.E.R were getting close to the end of the Brown Acid series with their last Trip, you were dead wrong…they’re only just getting rolling. The well of privately released hard rock, heavy psych, and proto-metal 45s is deep and nowhere near tapped out. Most of these records were barely released and never properly distributed so they ain’t easy to find, but they’re out there if you’re willing to dig…and Riding Easy aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.  This volume brings together eight insanely rare and skull-crushingly heavy 45s as well as two previously unreleased bangers. You may remember the Zekes’ jaw dropper “Box” from the First Trip. If you don’t, you better go back and refresh your memory, you stoner. That song rips! And so does this previously unheard recording legally obtained from the Beverly Hills Records vaults. “Comin Back” is the longest tune they’ve yet to include on this series and it’s a full-on rager! The only surviving copy of this recording came to the label on the original 1/4” master tape from Hollywood’s long-defunct Demars & Duffy Music. There have been numerous groups named Bad Axe over the years, but the one you hear here is the baddest. This five-piece fresh outta high school kicked out this jam (and a few others) in a Chicago studio in 1973 just for the hell of it. As a garage band, they were previously named The Burlington Express and they went on to be known as Bitch, but these dudes hit their stride as Bad Axe and “Coachman” is their crowning achievement. It went completely unreleased until 2014 when Permanent Records issued it and “Poor Man, Run” as a limited edition 45 with a killer picture sleeve. It’s long out-of-print and only obtainable now on Brown Acid. The rest of the records included on this volume vary in rarity, but at least two of them were virtually unknown until we discovered them. You’ll win the lottery before you find copies of all of the original 45s in even the best record stores. Many of the records included in this volume are owned only by the members of the bands and some of the band members don’t even have personal copies. Such a bummer. Anyhow, plug in, turn up, and freak out…this is what RocknRoll is all about.





Fans of Rock musics many, many sub genres know there are a wealth of great compilations out there. The Nuggets Sets as mention above are key releases of the psychedelic movement and widely respected by fans and collectors alike, its hard to find a set of compilations not made by committee or released as a cash-in or tie in to a movie franchise.
What makes the Brown Acid Series so special is that these tracks are truly rare and don't appear anywhere else, they belong to a decade where music was built on excesses with releases often more pompous and overblown than the last and yet existed almost in secret. Better than that, they are sourced by a label that love and respect this stuff as can also be seen by the hard work and effort that goes in to the final product; each of the volumes so far have have releases in multiple colours and splattered vinyl, making them highly collectable.
These trips are heavy and enjoyable and as the brand new Fourth Trip proves, Riding Easy need to keep dropping more.



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