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Tuesday, 17 April 2018

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."






We're back! And the hits just keep coming. For the fifth lysergic journey, we've assembled 10 heavy slabs of obscure rock the likes of which have never been seen before... not in this form anyhow. And as usual, the tracks from these impossibly rare records have all been fully cleared through the artists themselves. We've gone to great lengths to get the best possible master sources, the worst case scenario being an original 45. 'Cuz it ain't worth doing unless you do it right. The legendary Captain Foam kicks off this Trip like an anvil to your skull with a rollicking stomper sounding like The Who with Matt Pike's thunderous guitar tone. "No Reason" is a track we've been wanting to share with you boneheads since the start. Captain Foam (aka Richard Bertram) wasn't easy to find, but lo and behold, our super sleuths located him and got his blessing to include the A-side of his sole single here for you. Good luck finding an original copy of the record. It's rarer than raw beef. That's just the tip of the iceberg. The other nine tracks continue the onslaught in typical Brown Acid form. You may be familiar with George Brigman's psychedelic punk masterpiece "Jungle Rot", but you don't know Split until you've heard the charmingly disjointed bedroom-fi production of "Blowin' Smoke". Finch sounds way out of time (1968) and place (Milwaukee) on the grungeadelic anthem "Nothing In The Sun". Cybernaut's heavy prog - giving their Canadian cohorts Rush a run for their money - and Flasher's "Icky Bicky" boogie prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that our neighbors to the north can rock with the best of 'em. Meanwhile, Fargo's hallucinogenic BBQ sauce soaked "Abaddon" and Mammoth's fittingly beefy eponymous riff-monger continue the long line of heavies from the Lone Star State. Ohio based screamers Lance features members of Inside Experience, whom you might recall from the Third Trip. Zebra's gritty rendition of "Helter Skelter" is most likely the way Charles Manson heard the song in his head. And finally, the mysterious and previously unheard Thor appears here exclusively and for the first time ever with their unknown 45 track "Lick It". Many thanks to our pal Mike Vegh for turning us on to this one.





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 Fifth Trip proves, Riding Easy need to keep dropping more.









This time around we have 10 deep cuts from across the continental US of A and one from our neighbors up North. This Trip kicks off with an outrageous number from Gold out of San Francisco circa 1970. The band used to open their sets with this over-the-top frantic jammer which is absolutely mind-blowing and also leads one to believe that the only band that could've held a candle to Gold back in the day would've been the mighty Blue Cheer. As we delve deeper into the depths, Canadians continue to prove that they could bang heads with the best of 'em! Heat Exchange from Toronto released the rollicking ripper "Inferno" on the Yorkville label way back in 1968 and it's still thumping almost 50 years later! Missouri isn't a state that brought us a lot of heavy 45s, but there are a handful of outstanding tracks from the Show Me State, one of which is the funk-laced anthem "Give Me Time" by Backwood Memory from Kansas City. The longer we do this, the more we begin to believe that Youngstown, Ohio was the Hard Rock Mecca back in the day. Travis is yet another Youngstown group that aimed to get asses out of seats and out in the streets. "Lovin' You" is a groovy banger with a sultry riff originally released on the prolific Starshine Productions imprint. Six years prior to his Arcadian synth-funk novelty hit "Space Invaders" from 1980, Victor "Uncle Vic" Blecman took Flight into the studio with a list of relationship requirements. Amongst which are his need for "Luvin', Huggin', & More", with emphasis on the "More" part if we're to believe the urgency with which he delivers this fist-pumper. If you don't immediately recognize the Truth & Janey moniker, you need to get with it and familiarize yourself with their incredible 1976 LP No Rest For The Wicked. It's a proto-metal masterpiece that's been reissued on Rockadrome. Released four years earlier than their debut LP, "Midnight Horseman" is a 45-only track backed with a cover of "Under My Thumb". Another Iowan group, West Minist'r, self-released three 45s between 1969 and 1975. They're all great in their own way, but "My Life" hit the crunchy sweet spot in '71 with vocals sounding like a fresh from primal scream therapy John Lennon over a zonked-out Hendrix groove. You can count on hearing more from West Minist'r on future Trips. It's nearly impossible that Dayton, Ohio's Purgatory didn't seize the "Strange Days" and join "The Soft Parade" while "Waiting for the Sun". And although "Polar Expedition" wears its influences on its sleeve, 1969 would have been at least a little worse off if the band hadn't self released this single. Johnny Barnes was definitely "smokin' that reefer" and "drinkin' that wine" when he released "Steel Rail Blues" in 1976. The label states that you could order a copy of this 45 for by sending $1 to a PO Box in Boston and it's the only record on the Brown Acid series that seems to be obtainable currently for about the same amount it was sold for over three decades ago. That said, it's doubtful that it will remain so cheap for much longer. With a track as heavy as "Is There No Peace" it's easy to let the name of the label on this 45 slide. In Chicago in 1970 PSLHRTZ seemed like as good a label name as any for the guys in Zendik to release this insane recording on. Halfway through the track you might be wondering to yourself, "How was this not a hit?", and then you hear the lyrics to the last bit of the song and understand.







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