While The Who ruled the Mod and subsequent Freakbeat scene, many bands made the sound their own. The tributaries of the sound flowed over and every garage band took its day in the sun, but of course some had the kind of musical ingenuity to make something that shone just a bit brighter than the rest.

The Smoke - The Smoke
Taking the Mod template and injecting it thoroughly with a wide streak of psychedelia, The Smoke made a sweet druggy brand of pop that has continued to influence for decades. Their inescapable ode to LSD, "My Friend Jack" will remain
one of my favorite singles of the decade, but they more than escaped the one-hit wonder status, crafting bright sunny melodies and wavering psych harmonies. They also had an incredible ability to lay a subtle swing into the back of a song, subverting blues roots into a pop targeted cannonball that wound up splintering as was the way that bands seemed to end in those days. Still this album and the few collections that have wrangled the rest of their b-sides and other odds and ends together remain as a reminder of what they were.

[MP3] The Smoke -High In A Room
[MP3] The Smoke - Wake Up Cherylina

The Action - Rolled Gold
Produced by George Martin but taking cues from the Small Faces and the Zombies and the Who, The Action created a masterwork that has fallen sorely short of the mark in terms of recognition. Their songs had a melodic touchstone that broke
free of mod's chugging rhythms and, though their album showed an unnatural maturity EMI, their label's parent company took a pass on their album at the time it was recorded. Subsequently the band fractured, and over time evolved into the slightly less impressive Mighty Baby. EMI's mistake has long since been rectified and the album is available in its entirety, showcasing the talents that could have been much more than they were allowed.

[MP3] The Action - Brain
[MP3] The Action - Strange Roads

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posted by dissensous at 10:26:00 PM


Anonymous Grunnish Goo said...

Thanks for The Action! If you like them you should check out The Blossom Toes!

4:36 PM  

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