Tuesday, September 6, 2016

I'm A Freak Baby: A Journey Through the British Heavy Psych and Hard Rock Underground Scene 1968-72

This is a killer four hour 3-CD set filled with some heavy psychedelic and proto hard-rock heavy metal voyages from the underground scene that you might want to play this very, very loud. You have some of these bands from that era including some of the big names that would later become successful including Uriah Heep, Fleetwood Mac, and Deep Purple to name a few along with heavy nuggets with The Move, Chicken Shack, and Jerusalem.

Not to mention one of my favorite scenes of the music genre of the Ladbroke Grove scene from The Deviants, Pink Fairies, Hawkwind, and the Edgar Broughton Band that were raw, in your face, and just delving into uncharted territories that will make your skin crawl. The 34-page booklet contains notes by David Wells and the bands contained with historical notes about them.

I just couldn’t get enough of this amazing box set that Grapefruit have unleashed this year. It sounds like an eruptive volcano waiting to burst at the right moment to let the lava come out with blaring guitars, thumping drums, and dooming bass lines. You have some amazing highlights on here including Iron Claw’s Skullcrusher is one of my favorite tracks. There’s some essence of High Tide’s Sea Shanties-era while the roaring punches of Second Hand’s Rhubarb! Which deals with the situation between reality and fantasy was all right there and giving you the situation about television, sins, and dementia with some prog attitude.

Scotland’s own Writing on the Wall’s accordion intro starts off like something straight out of the seas and drinking rum until dawn on a pirate ship before getting into the horror movie settings with a screaming terror with a fearsome and sinister sound for the Bogeyman. Ladbroke Grove’s The Deviants bring the styles of The Fugs with a shuffling garage-rock late ‘60s proto-punk blues on I’m Coming Home as both Edgar Broughton Band and Stack Waddy channel Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band on Love in the Rain and Bring it to Jerome.

The heavily guitar riffs from Tony McPhee would see an influence on Iggy and the Stooges Raw Power-era with The Groundhogs on Cherry Red as the Pink Fairies would be a call psychedelic-punk freak-out taking their name from radical Jerry Rubin’s book Do It which the Rollins Band would later cover in 1987. But you will find some more nuggets and secret treasures that you might want to take note of.

Blonde on Blonde’s staggering Heart Without a Home, the extreme bass riff and fuzztone guitars with a vicious sound of The Mickey Finn’s Garden of my Mind, the essence of early Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin can come in handy with the heavy blues rock of Don Nix’s Going Down done by Chicken Shack, The Move’s early beginnings of Glam Rock with thunderous riffs can get you on the dance floor with the Brontosaurus, and essences of Amon Duul II can be heard with Barnabus’ Apocalypse followed by the styles of Doom/ Stoner Metal of Jerusalem's Primitive Man which was produced by Deep Purple's Ian Gillan.

This is an energetic 3-CD set I enjoyed from beginning to end. I almost headbanged throughout the entire set and I have to admit now that Grapefruit Records know their compilations very well when it comes to finding treasures deep beneath the sand or in the salty ocean. If you admire the Doom Metal, Proto-Punk, Psych-Prog, and Proto-Metal sounds, then I highly recommend you get I’m a Freak Baby: A Journey Through the British Heavy Psych and Hard Rock Underground Scene 1968-72.

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