“So rare that diehard fuzz junkies say you’d have a better chance of winning the lottery than finding a physical 45 rpm single by one of the bands featured on their latest installment.” — Dangerous Minds
“Will do for hard rock, proto-metal and heavy psych what Nuggets did for garage rock, and bring it to a wider audience of collectors and music fans.” — The Guardian
“Mining the surprising rich reserves of heavy rock and proto-metal from the ’60s and ’70s, these collections have been crucial to understanding the history of a subgenre of rock that had far deeper roots than most fans realize.” — Paste Magazine
The forthcoming tenth edition — #10! — of the popular compilation series featuring long-lost vintage 60s-70s proto-metal and stoner rock singles, Brown Acid: The Tenth Trip will be available, fittingly, on April 20th, 2020. As the celebrated series reaches landmark double-digits, there are no indications it will slow down in the near future. Hear and share the first single, “Tensions” released in 1969 by Detroit rockers Sounds Synonymous via YouTube and Bandcamp.
The Tenth Trip:
Here we are, arriving at the tenth edition of Brown Acid in just half as many years! As always, we packed in the highest highs of the dankest hard rock, heavy psych, and proto-metal tracks previously lost to the sands of time. Like we’ve done throughout this series, all of these tracks were painstakingly licensed legitimately and the artists were paid. It’s hard to believe we’re already up to 10 volumes of this lysergic Neanderthal wail, but the long-lost jams just keep-a-coming like Texas crude to fuel your rock ‘n’ roll engine and melt your metal mind.
This Trip kicks off with the Hammer of the Gods howl of “Plastic Thunder” by Bitter Creek. The Atlanta, GA quintet’s lone single from 1970 on Mark IV Records is rated #6 of the Top 50 Heaviest Songs Before Black Sabbath by GuitarWorld Magazine. You can hear why in the ominous riff and larynx-ravaging chorus that merges the deepest of Deep Purple sludge with The Who’s rollicking psychedelia.
Not much is known about The Brood‘s 1969 bluesy paean to dirtbag weed consumption “The Roach” on the It’s A Lemon imprint, except that it’s a big, growling rocker with a crazed in-the-round blowout of wailing guitar solos, screeching organ blasts, wildly overlapping vocals and drum rolls for days.
Nova Scotia, Canada sextet Brothers and One‘s double-entendre laden single “Hard On Me” certainly pushes the boundaries of what would be acceptable at the time (especially amongst their ever-polite Canadian brethren.) Their lone full length was released in 1970 on short-lived Audat label, the group featuring two sets of brothers (hence the name) recorded the album while all members were between age 13-18-years-old. This glam-influenced single was privately released on the band’s own label nearly 4 years later.
Louisville, KY quartet Conception‘s excellent revision of Blue Cheer’s “Babylon” (1969, Perfection Records) adds heavy phaser effect on the guitar and a more driving rhythm to make the song entirely their own. Lead guitar and high harmony vocals by Charlie Day (not to be confused with the Sunny Philadelphian actor) are assertive and commanding as he implores listeners onward to hallucinagenic nirvana.
Not exactly a typically psychedelic band name for the era, but First State Bank‘s “Mr. Sun” (1970, Music Mill) pays hearty dividends of boogie bustle. The Central Texas band led by guitarist/vocalist Randy Nunnally released only 3 singles in its career from 1970-1976. For those keeping score at home, their song “Before You Leave” was featured on The Third Trip back in 2016. “Mr. Sun” is the heavy B-Side to “Coming Home To You.”
Clearly inspired by Jimi Hendrix, Tucson quartet Frozen Sun topped the local charts in 1969 with this barnstorming rocker “Electric Soul” (Capt. Zoomer Records.) The song is replete with guitarist/vocalist (with big Hendrix hair) Ron Ryan’s spoken interlude, “Well have you been electrically stoned? You know, living in the danger zone?” We say yes.
Ralph Williams and the Wright Brothers took flight with “Never Again” on Hour Glass Records in 1972, and apparently never landed after this 45 with “Dark Street” on the A-side. The serpentine riff and sexually-charged backing vocal grunts drive this archetypical tale of a young man’s chemical odyssey… or, should we say, trip?
Sounds Synonymous pretty much epitomized heavy fuzz from Michigan with their 1969 single “Tensions” on the Wall Productions label. The Hendrix “Fire” meets Arthur Brown’s “Fire” track lunges and lurches with glee throughout its 3-minutes and change of unbridled crunch. Tabernash‘s “Head Collect” (1972) is the suburban Denver quartet’s only release following the name change from The Contents Are and a move from Davenport, IA. This more stately psych-rock chune features Byrds-like harmonies, twangy reverse-looped guitar soloing and Keith Moon-esque drumming that should’ve made it a chart-topper, but we all know there’s no justice in rock’n’roll.
The Tenth Trip closes, appropriately, with the “War Pigs” reminiscent fuzz of New Orleans quartet The Rubber Memory‘s 1970 tune “All Together.” The band self-released only 110 copies of their lone album, making it an incredibly sought-after rarity for decades. Alongside a limited edition reissue in 2000, the group reformed for a one-off show before quickly bouncing back into our collective cosmic consciousness.
About the Brown Acid series:
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 century — 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 collected on
Lance Barresi, co-owner of L.A./Chicago retailer Permanent Records has shown incredible persistence in tracking down a stellar collection of rare singles from the 60s and 70s for the growing compilation series. 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.
“There’s a long list of songs that we’d love to include,” Barresi says. “But we just can’t track the bands down. I like the idea that Brown Acid is getting so much attention, so people might reach out to us.”
Artist: Various Artists
Album: Brown Acid: The Tenth Trip
Label: RidingEasy Records
Release Date: April 20, 2020
01. Sounds Synonymous “Tensions”
02. Ralph Williams and the Wright Brothers “Never Again”
03. Conception “Babylon”
04. Bitter Creek “Plastic Thunder”
05. The Rubber Memory “All Together”
06. First State Bank “Mr. Sun”
07. Brothers and One “Hard On Me”
08. Frozen Sun “Electric Soul”
09. The Brood “The Roach”
10. Tabernash “Head Collect”
On The Web: