Brown Acid - The Fourth Trip by Various Artists

Release date: April 20, 2017
Label: Ridingeasy Records

The Ridingeasy records Brown Acid – Heavy Rock from the underground comedown – series, which delves into late sixties to mid-seventies pre-metal’s underground, once again comes up trumps with blasts of fuzzy big riffy glorious rock plucked from vinyl obscurity. Like the I’m a freak baby: A journey through the British Heavy Psych & Hard Rock Underground scene 1968 – 1972, and the occasional Mojo magazine’s Heavy Nuggets series compiled by editor in chief Phil Alexander, it celebrates and reveals the wealth of top quality Hard Rock created in this period beyond the multi-million selling rock classics from the same period.

It is blessed with obscure bands from albums and singles which may confound the most ardent of record exploring collectors, and so this compilation will not only reduce frustration but many hours, or possibly even years, for those trying to trace those original hard copies. This delightful Vol 4 compilation will provide something to discover for well-informed connoisseurs, as well as also enlighten newly interested rock explorers of this said period towards a wealth of largely unknown and forgotten gems from Rock’s deeply buried underground.

It brings home and goes some way to understand why Brant Bjork and others are obsessed and eager to re-capture this period’s sound and production values. It is a blistering, numerous amounts of galaxies away from what lied await in the 1980’s and its subsequent thirst of embracing new technologies, including adding synthesizers to the rock template, for a new distinctive and opinion dividing sound now closely associated with that decade.

The noticeable constant throughout this record – the comps compilers must take credit for their discovering, selection and ordering – is how easy on the ear the fuzzy riffs and free-caring driving rhythms groove. It all breezes along the highway with exuberant honest rock swagger plied with dark shades, ice cold beer, coolness.

Every band and track is a new discovery for this reviewer and all are gems in their own way. From the opening fuzzy riff of Kanaan’s ‘Leave it’ as it bursts forth and images emerge of opened shirted, hair flying, self-rock sureness. While the rollicking full throttle tempo of Erving Forbush’s ‘The Train’, a pulsating close cousin to The Yardbirds ‘Train kept a rollin’, to the ‘‘oh yeah’’, ‘‘give me good lovin’ groove shakin’’ ‘Comin back’ by Zekes are triumphant.

This is the age where you get a tuneful repetitive riff add a driving pounding rhythm, ply some vocals over the top and rock out and feel it, man. This is exemplified with the breathless bass runs and committed drumming in ‘Coachmen’ by Bad Axe. The listening pleasure simplicity to these songs are essential to their charm and are great pieces of feel good rock escapism. It ends with the darker and sinister toned, Jon Lord styled keyboard twiddling, crescendo building ‘Lucifer’ by Axas. And then seriously leaves me wanting Volume 5 to hopefully follow soon in the not-too distant future. The good news is in the accompanying press release it announces they are only getting started as they ensure there are many more rock treasures to be unearthed.

For fans of this period in Rock then this is another essential purchase. This album most certainly has the potential to be my most frequently played album of the year.

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