Various Artists – Just For Kicks

The Far-Out Sounds Of Four ‘60s Garage-Punk Combos

Playing “just for kicks”, and eventually chicks, was mostly the main motive for most of the mid ‘60s garage bands, but then again, it may be the very reason why lots of them produced much more soulful material than many of the ones that managed to get out of the “garage”.

Here, you’ll find four US garage combos kicking out the best of garage punk/beat/psych, starting with The Monuments from Oklahoma, who released only one single in 1966, featuring the Farfi-sized Seedy punk African Diamonds.

Included are also some unreleased nuggets, taking them into a bit tamer moody-folk area with Don’t Blame Me and the Mersey-flavoured You Always Hurt The One You Love, and there’s also the r’n’b Animalism of Where Bad Boys Go.

The next one is The Wet Paint from Chicago, featuring all of the single sides from their only two singles (1966/1967), starting out with the Remain-ing r’n’beat called Shame (backed with the cover of their neighbours The New Colony Six’s At The River’s Edge), the Hermits-gone-garage-punk-like We Call Him A Man and the slightly ‘Stoned beat ballad No One To Love.

Also included is, a bit rough-sounding demo of the Brit-invaded withdrawn single side Precious Way (not unlike The E-Types or The Choir).

Jacksonville’s The Mouse and The Boys are the bunch with at least just as much band-names (The (Florida) Deep Six, The Boys, Mouse and the Boys) as actual releases behind them and also, just as much sound-variations, such as the groovy dancefloor mod-stomper Last Time Around, the instant pop of Start From Here, combined with some outta place fuzzy leads, then some soft-ish harmony pop in Stick And Stones (NOT a cover) as well as the frantic psychedelicized punk of X-cedrin Headache, kinda predating Johnny Rotten’s vocal stylings.

The last, but sure not least, is The Purple Gang from North Hollywood, mostly remembered (by very few unfortunately) for being suspicious of actually coining the phrase “What a gas! ”(by their drummer during the gig at the local gas station!) and for featuring future Music Machine guitarist Mark Landon, who supposedly inspired Sean Bonniwell to include the famous gloves-detail in their image, after seeing the Purple Gang bassist occasionally wearing one.

What they SHOULD be remembered for actually, are a couple of singles on Jerden (one) and AMG (2), providing some real buzz’n’fuzz with tunes like Bring Your Own Self Down or One Of The Bunch, then there’s another punky tale of the usual (for the period) male-female misidentification. Also, if there ever was a garage-punk-chamber-pop genre, Looking Glass just has to be its defining moment!

The insightful liners by researcher Mike Dugo, are also something that contribute much to this moment of the mid ‘60s garage resurrection.

[Released by Misty Lane 2004]

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