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Acid Dreams

(Past & Present; US: 14 Apr 2009; UK: 2 Feb 2009)

Originally compiled by a Berlin record store owner in 1980 and pressed to a lonely 77 copies that were sold only on location, Acid Dreams is one of early psyche and garage rock collector’s holy grails. As such, it is a shame how history has treated it. It’s been bootlegged to oblivion and, in 1988, a compilation called Acid Dreams Testament collected 13 of its 18 rare 7-inch selections and added 15 more to it that, for all intents and purposes, blow the original Acid Dreams out of the water. In fact, this Past & Present reissue clearly sounds like a vinyl rip itself. The sound is muddy and full of pops and static (though it must be noted that the label also reissued Testament this year, so who knows what they’re going for).

That said, this is still a brilliantly assembled exploration of pre-punk snarl and righteous feedback the likes of which is essential for freaking out the squares, and a few of the non-Testament tracks are definitely worth the investment. “City Jungle” by Beautiful Daze is a killer fuzz-bomb jam, with choice changes and guitar so nasty that it makes me taste colors. Lord only knows why Vejetables didn’t make the other dream. They have a respectable cult following these days, and “Shadows” is a prickly tribal creep that stands out of the track listing. Overall, the original Acid Dreams a nice package that hasn’t lost any of it’s luster over time, but a better quality copy would be nice.


Author of blurbs, curator of playlists, and booker of shows, Alan Ranta has been plugging away at that music writing and programming thing since 2004. His brutally honest critical opinion has appeared in such publications as Exclaim!, CBC Music, PopMatters and Tiny Mix Tapes, and has been enlisted to help judge the Polaris Music Prize, Pazz & Jop, and Juno Awards. Based in East Van, he graduated with a BFA in music from Simon Fraser University in 2012. He's also a social media plague, cat whisperer, socio-political haranguer, Canucks fan, and one of the last remaining cowboys.

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