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The Plimsouls: Beach Town Confidential

Recorded in Huntington Beach in 1983, this melodic white-hot power-pop ball of energy blows away any previous Plimsouls live recording you may have heard.

Music

Henry's Funeral Shoe: Donkey Jacket

Crossing the borderline between electric-blues-powered rock-a-boogie and acoustic country-blues, this great second album builds upon the first and makes you long to hear the third.

Alan Brown
Music

Various Artists: Piccadilly Sunshine Part Five

A handful of outstanding tracks book-ending some of the best forgotten bottom-end chart filler from the late '60s -- after the splendid fourth volume, Past & Present's latest installment takes a dip in quality.

Music

Quintus McCormick Blues Band: Put It on Me!

Another 15 solid originals that showcase McCormick's versatile vocals as he moves from smooth operating soul balladeer to low-down bluesman.

Alan Brown
Music

Elonkorjuu: Harvest Time

Rare does not always equate with great, as this album by an early prog-rock quintet from Finland demonstrates. File under "for collectors only".

Music

The Matadors: Get Down From the Tree!

If there's one European beat group from the mid-'60s worth investigating, it's these guys. The 24 tracks on this essential collection chart the group's evolution from moody Mod-beat movers to psych-blues rockers.

Music

Brian Olive: Two of Everything

Olive's second album is as complex as it is catchy, tempering the soulful glam-orized R&B stomp of his debut with a laid-back vibe.

Alan Brown
Music

Lumerians: Transmalinnia

As you immerse yourself in this mesmerizing sci-fi soundtrack of the imagination, expect to be transported to the beautiful yet terrifying end of the universe.

Music

Gardens: Gardens

Rooted in a post-punk hotbed of throbbing, thrashing bass, this debut album blossoms into an adrenaline rush of artful, angular garage-rock.

Music

Kaleidoscope: Kaleidoscope

A wickedly good weave of adventurous garage-psych from Latin America, inspired by bands like the Zombies, Cream and the 13th Floor Elevators.

Music

The Sails: A Headful of Stars

The London-based multi-instrumentalist continues his heady journey into a mid-'60s psychedelic soundscape awash with swirling sitars, backwards-looped tape and chiming guitars.

Music

T-Model Ford and Gravelroad: Taledragger

On superb retellings of blues staples, the fuzzy, thick-as-molasses reverb-fueled blues-rock-chug of the trio menacingly oozes behind the Ford's blacker-than-blue cracked growl. The crossroads at midnight is never far from your mind.

Music

Redondo Beat: Meet Redondo Beat

A glossy, reverential pop record that gradually moves away from cruisin', top-down power-pop and heads back to a time when the likes of Duane Eddy, Danny and the Juniors, Paul Anka, and Conway Twitty ruled the roost.

Music

Cornershop: Cornershop and the Double 'O' Groove Of

Adventurous in the extreme, this is definitely not "world music" but very possibly "out of this world music". Bloody brilliant!

Music

Various Artists: Piccadilly Sunshine Part Four

Lazy trumpets, tinkling harpsichords, shimmying Mod-psych organ and glorious guitar fuzz herald forgotten classics as the gray streets of late-'60s Britain magically blossomed into a lysergic Edwardian wonderland of the imagination.

Alan Brown
Music

Chubby Checker: It's Pony Time / Let's Twist Again

Chubby Checker was no rock 'n' roll pioneer or R&B innovator, but a great number of these fun songs have stood the test of time and are worth forming a "big boss line" for.

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

Dionysus

Music

The June: Green Fields and Rain

Here is a band who proudly wear their influences on their paisley-patterned sleeves. These three lads from Parma have the catchy '60s pop hooks to win you over.

Music

The Witches: A Haunted Person's Guide to the Witches

Devilishly good music shrouded in a sludgy cloak of echo-laden vocals, fuzz, reverb and oscillating organ.

Music

Various Artists: Keb Darge and Little Edith's Legendary Rockin' R&B

Focusing on the raw 'n' swinging sounds cut in the mid-'50s and early '60s, these 20 tracks make for an excellent introduction to the all-but-forgotten pioneering R&B artists who bridged the gap between late-40's jump blues, rock 'n' roll, and '60s soul.

Alan Brown
Music

The Sights: Most of What Follows Is True

With windmilling power chords, driving B4, coruscating guitar skirmishes, and echoes of the freewheelin' rock-a-boogie of the early '70s, the Sights are back -- and they've cut their finest record yet.

Music

Willie Buck: The Life I Love

Originally released as a limited private pressing in 1982, this sought-after LP is finally out there for all to hear -- recommended for anyone with a passing interest in no-frills Chicago blues.

Music

Various Artists: Talking About the Good Times Volume 1

Not everything was rainbows and daisy chains back in the day. Through the crackle and acetate hiss, things can get hard 'n' heavy on this treasure trove of psychedelic obscuria from the tail-end of the '60s.

Alan Brown

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