In the ever emerging psychedelic explosion of the late 60's is seems that every subset and region had its own style. Some borrowed heavily from others while some were unmistakably their own. Texas was fertile ground for music then as it is today but with the heavy constriction of the fact that sometimes being a hippy or rocker was frowned upon much more so than it was on the coasts. This adversity brought a fervent new brand of psych to the table, led most notably by the fuzzed out garage strums of The Thirteenth Floor Elevators. Though the most well known they were far from the only band to define the Texas psych sound.

Cold Sun - Dark Shadows
Borrowing heavily from the Elevators' fuzz guitar and treble laced tone, Cold Sun is one of the decades very rare classics. The original LP had a limited release and subsequent reissues have been
sparse, numbering in the hundreds even for CD copies. As is the case with many rare albums the stigma of the album overshadows the music a bit. However this is certainly an album deserving of some of its cult status. Very lo-fi sound can't completely obfuscate the tender melodies and blistering guitar work that lend support to Bill Miller's peyote drenched lyricism. Another odd element is the repeated use of Autoharp to fill in the bass on several tracks which only adds another layer of legend to the album. While hardly as influential as the Elevators, especially since they took them as a main influence, the album is worthwhile and contains many great songs.
[MP3] Cold Sun - See What You Cause
[MP3] Cold Sun - South Texas

Fever Tree - Fever Tree
While not as characteristic of the Texas sound as Cold Sun, Fever Tree still represented a hard muscularity of tone in guitar and smatterings of baroque psych which would prove influential to later bands. Ironically led by a husband
and wife songwriting team that cut their teeth working on songs for Mary Poppins, this band showed some true flourish by fleshing out some of their originals with orchestral bits aided by Love arranger David Angel. Some of their heavier tunes are panned for being too representative of psych rock cliches but I think they wear rather well and stand up to many songs of the same style today. In amongst the originals are some obligatory Beatles covers and a couple of funk rock reworkings. Again not the most essential album if you're going on pure balls out rock classics but it does paint a broader picture of the regional sound and the evolution of late 60's rock in general.
[MP3] Fever Tree - Ninety-Nine and One Half
[MP3] Fever Tree - Man Who Paints the Pictures

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posted by dissensous at 8:56:00 PM


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