Review: Various Artists ‘Brown Acid: The Thirteenth Trip’

The RidingEasy Records Brown Acid series have proven to be one of the best, and most anticipated releases of the last almost-decade. In a nutshell, Lance Barresi co-owner of LA’s Permanent Records, and RidingEasy Records Daniel Hall, have paired up to mine, dig up, dust off, and un-earth the most obscure fuzzed-out, stoned-out, acid rock, hard rock, proto-punk, psychedelic, garage, proto-stoner/metal that’s been lost to time, usually falling between the years of 1967 and 1976.

Various Artists ‘Brown Acid: The Thirteenth Trip’

None other thanMonster Magnet’s Dave Wyndorf has described this era in rock and roll as a sort of Twilight Zone for music. A post-hippie, post flower-power, pre-punk, pre-metal era of burgeoning FM radio, and ‘album-oriented’ rock.  Bands high on the fumes of Hendrix, Cream, and Blue Cheer, but also inhaling from the same smoke, and running parallel with Sabbath and Zeppelin, plugged in, turned up, and dropped out. However, a lot of these artists were lost to history, with maybe a only single recorded to document their creations.

Baressi and Hall have tirelessly chased down crates of obscure, heavy rock singles and 7”s, most of these not even seeing release in an album format. As well, all of the songs in the series have been licensed, so the original artists have been chased down and compensated as much as possible. It’s fair to say Brown Acid has done for stoner rock and proto-metal what the Nuggets and Back From the Grave series’ did for garage rock, and A Real Cool Time Revisited did for Swedish garage rock/punk.

Wasting no time, The Thirteenth Trip kicks the door in with Run Run by Max, originally known as Dawn, it’s a riff-centric, hip shaking, boogie rocker, with a nice warm 70s tone. Ralph Williams offers up a dirty, fuzzy, garage-y, Jack the Ripper-style riff fest with the catchy Dark Street, while Geyda gets a little more frantic, and psychedelic with Third Side. The harmonized vocals sounding like a bad come-down in 1969. Gary Del Vecchio’s aptly named Buzzin is a heavy, bash-fest, featuring some great riffs, and a nice, only-on-analog tone.

music fans should consider themselves fortunate Baressi and Hall continue to unearth, and release, these long-lost gems…

John Kitko really gets down with Indecision, a highlight of the record for sure. A heavy, progressive, psychedelic monster of a song, Kikto’s vocals are pretty aggressive, and manic, certainly for the time. This originally came out in 1973, and there’s some serious proto-stoner riffage happening. Bacchus offers up a good-time, boogie, hip-shaker of a 70s song with Hope fitting right in with any southern-style hard rocker of its day. Master Danse‘s Feelin Dead is a slow-burn, blues rocker, complete with some pretty impressive vocals and lead guitar work, meanwhile, Orchid’s Go Big Red is a pretty straight forward garage-type rocker.

Dry Ice’s (amazing I’m just NOW hearing a band use that title, and they’re from the early 70s!) awesomely titled Don’t Munkey (With The Funky Skunky) lets the cat out of the bag early with that title. A reved-up, downstroke, basher of a song, it’s as fun as its title sounds, and another highlight of the Thirteenth Trip. This edition of Brown Acid closes out with Good Humore’slove letter to everyone’s favorite 70s grimy rock and roll city: Detroit. Upbeat, and slightly funky, it serves as a fun closer to this volume of the series.

Having been born in 1971 and basing most bands I love on an idea that if you mash Black Sabbath with either The Stooges, or The Ramones, the results are usually pleasing to the earholes, RidingEasy’s Brown Acid series is always a treat. Over the years I’ve chased down many bands and records of this era, whose virtues were extolled by bands I loved, like Nebula, and then actually covering a song fromRandy Holden’s Population ll for example. But chasing down these long-lost singles is something else altogether, so music fans should consider themselves fortunate Baressi and Hall continue to unearth, and release, these long-lost gems. I’ll be eagerly waiting for the Fourteenth Trip.

Label: RidingEasy Records

Scribed by: Martin Williams