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Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope

(Shadoks; US: 2011; UK: 2011)

Swirling colours, splintering mosaics and, for the tuned-in and turned-on, a personal head-trip glimpsed through a cardboard tube ... it’s hardly surprising that three bands chose the name Kaleidoscope during the late ‘60s. This particular Kaleidoscope came from Latin America, with members hailing from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Mexico, and cut one rightly sought-after psychedelic album which, along with three bonus songs and an informative booklet, makes up this excellent Shadoks release. Drawing upon bands like the Zombies, Cream and the 13th Floor Elevators for inspiration, the quintet spun an adventurous moody, minor-key web of organ- and fuzz guitar-driven garage-psych. It’s a wickedly good weave sung entirely in English where a line such as “acid colours burn my brain, I’m just insane” can be followed by an out-of-nowhere honking horn (“Colours”), an atomic explosion can bring closure to opener “Hang Out” and psych-funk number “I’m Crazy” can be interspersed with a drum-and-organ sand dance shuffle. And it’s this attitude of don’t-give-a-damn experimentation that places Kaleidoscope’s album head and shoulders above other “lost” ‘60s curios.

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