"THE ELECTRIC LEMONADE ACID TEST Volume One' (TP048)
The beginning of the Electric Lemonade Acid Test trip: this inaugural volume is a from-the-master-tapes anthology of psych-era recordings emanating from Eddie Kassner's late '60s record label President, including essential lysergic pop nuggets from the likes of Rhubarb Rhubarb, pre-Nirvana act Hat & Tie, the Explosive, Cape Kennedy Construction Co Ltd, Chords Five, the Symbols and many more. Lovely 'Rubble'-style sleeve with insert that details the histories of both President and the various bands, 1000 numbered copies on 190gm vinyl.
"President Records was one of those labels that excelled in sparkly paisley pop that occasionally spent one week in the charts at the coveted Number 29 position. This fine vinyl-only anthology collates the best of the label's UK output from 1967-70. Lost gems like the Gass Company's "Nightmare' and Chords Five's Graham Gouldman-penned "Some People' vie for attention next to the Symbols' excellent fuzz-driven version of "(The Best Part Of) Breaking Up'. One or two of the tracks on offer are just a wolf-whistle away from Tremeloes territory, but then a lot of UK psych walked that line and was no worse for it. Even when the lyrics are utterly preposterous - as on the Cape Kennedy Construction Company's one-small-step-for-mankind cash-in number "First Step On The Moon' - the tune's bliss. The standout track, however, is Hat & Tie's classic garage stomper "I'm Finding It Rough'. (Mojo)
" The Electric Lemonade Acid Test showcases ten pop-psych bands, covering the period 1967-70. Clearly President were aiming for hits, and mainly went for melody and conciseness over experimentation. Standouts include the Explosive, whose 1969 "Cities Make The Country Colder' opens with a brief Small Faces-type flurry which fades into a melody on a par with psych-era Status Quo. Rhubarb Rhubarb's early 1969 "Moneylender' is a marvellous slice of day-glo pop, enhanced by a great merry-go-round rhythm. More peculiar is the Symbols' glam-stomp through "(The Best Part Of) Breaking Up'. Weirder still is the doleful "Armageddon', by the Cape Kennedy Construction Company, with its quotes from the Book of Revelations and stabs of slashing Pete Townshend-style guitar." (Record Collector)
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