Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Few Fuzz Crunchers and an Organ Stomper or Two

Hello again and welcome to yet another 45 roundup. This time, I talk about a few 45s that have come my way, including some fuzz crunchers and a few killer organ instros. Well, let's get going:

The Soul Set - Flunky Flunky (BB)

I don't know anything about this group, but they appear to be a white frat boy group of some kind. I take it that way because the A-side is "Mickey's Funky Monkey," which has a groovy guitar and drum-pounding track, but has decidely white frattish vocals. Now, take away the white vocals, keep the groovy, pounding track and dub on some echoey organ and Presto! You've got a great organ stomper! It's always funny how a throwaway side can suddenly become THE side, if you get my drift.

The Hard Times - I Can’t Wait Till Friday Comes/Old Wine (New Bottles) (Grey Ant G-107)

I don’t know anything about the Grey Ant label or whether or not these Hard Times are the same group that also recorded a smattering of singles for the World Pacific label. I can definitely tell you, however, that this is a 2-sided MONSTER!! “I Can’t Wait…” is a crude garage punker with snotty vocals and dirty guitar crunch whomp. (I believe it was comped on one of the “Garage Punk Unknowns” volumes.) That whomp continues on the other side, though it’s a little more trippy in nature. It’s still a killer side, though. Without a doubt, this is one of my very best pick-ups of the year, worth the $100 bucks of stuff I traded for it.

Dave “Baby” Cortez - Gettin’ to the Point/Happy Feet (Chess 1874)

Larry at Funky 16 Corners recommends “Gettin’ to the Point” as an absolute killer organ side and how right he is! As Dave wails away on the organ, slashing his way all over everything, the band kicks up a stompin’ groove complete with blastin’ horns and smokin’ hot guitar. But turn the record over and you get another wild organ raver (actually this 45’s A-side) set to a thumpin’ Bo Diddley beat. Can we say monster 2-sider here? Yes, I believe we can!

Joe Chopper and the Swinging 7 Soul Band - Soul Pusher (Lanor L-567)

Another lost gem from the Louisiana-based Lanor label, this one’s a loud, soulful thumper with solid organ wailin’, funky guitar and killer horn blasts. Larry at Funky 16 Corners again says that this is a thinly disguised cover of the Gaturs’ “Cold Bear.” I haven’t heard that one so I can’t say. He also says this band gives it a dirtier sound and on that, I can completely agree.

The Temptashuns - Pretty Ways/Strawberry Man (Federal 45-12530)

Not to be confused at all with the vocal Temptations we all know and love, this 45’s got a bit of a split personality. “Pretty Ways,” the A-side, is a straightforward frat soul cover, complete with white-boy vocals, of a Hank Ballard tune. “Strawberry Man” is where the action is here. Kicking off with an out-of-control snare drum banging out a bossa-nova beat, the band gets underway with some right funky guitar and thumpin’ organ, topped off with a smattering of horns. This side has sort of a go-go feel and is easily the better of the two sides.

The Collectors - The Beginning (London M.17379 Canada)

Erik Lindgren, of Arf! Arf! (www.arfarfrecords.com) told me that these guys would eventually become Chilliwack. It’s also been comped on the Arf! Arf! CD “Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Garage and Psych Instrumentals But Were Afraid To Ask,” which is well-worth seeking out. What you’re in for here is five minutes of heavy guitar wank accompanied by primitive drumming. Myself, I think it’s pretty cool, but if this ain’t your cup o’ Joe, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Haymarket Riot - “Nine O’Clock” (Coconut Grove 2040)

I’ve read in Vernon Joynson’s long-gone “Fuzz, Acid and Flowers” that this is not the same group that recorded the heavy psych monster “Trip On Out” (which should be on your must list to hear, if you haven’t yet). At any rate, these cats were from Michigan and this song is a dark pop record characterized by loopy Farfisa organ and lots and lots of fuzz crunch. A saxophone comes in and threatens to overwhelm everything, but the fuzz guitar holds its own. Did I mention it had decent harmony vocals? Anyway, Erik Lindgren (who I got this from) call this “fuzzed-out psych like heavy freaked-out Strawberry Alarm Clock” and I can’t say I blame him. It’s comped on “Journey To Time #1.

Cherry Fizz - Tinker Tailor (Fat Chance FCR 101)

Don’t know too much about this one except that it’s a heavy rock version of a Yardbirds tune that owes itself more to Cream than to the ‘birds, if you get my drift. For some reason, the vocals remind me of Jim Rutledge of Bloodrock and if that’s your idea of a compliment, then tune in.

October Country - My Girl Friend Is A Witch (Epic 5-10320)

Michael Lloyd, of West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band fame, wrote, produced and arranged this little gem. It’s got creepy lyrics, loud, fuzzy guitar and loopy organ, all to a fast beat. I think Lloyd would later get involved with The Osmonds, but a listen or two to this and you can forgive him for that.

Ascensions - All Alone (Gemini G-100)

These guys were out of Philadelphia and this single contains crude, jangly guitar, primitive drumming and teeny vocals. But it’s accented by some raunchy fuzz breaks throughout the song and because of that, it’s more than worth your ears. Hell, the label even says it’s fuzzy. The B-side, “Forget It,” says it has a “mean groove” and is fuzzy, but I heard it and I didn’t think so. Stay with “All Alone” and you should be okay. It’s from around 1967-68 somewhere in there.

So there ya go. Another fine batch of 7" wax tracks that I hope you enjoyed readin' about.

6 comments:

Stuart Shea said...

Not generally a big Osmonds fan, but the song "Crazy Horses" deserves some props.

Brian Marshall said...

"Crazy Horses" is definitely a favorite with me, too. Don't ask me why. There's just something about it that sends me.

Anonymous said...

dont know crazy horses... but "Traffic in my mind" from their "The Plan" LP is the shit. heavy, sprinkled with tape echo tassles.

prof cantaloupe

art said...

As an 11 year old I heard the October Country on top 40 radio in 1968 doing their song "October Country" (a terrific song by the way). I found a beat up copy back in the 80's. It was actually one of my "holy grail" records. "My Girlfriend is a Witch" is on Epic, right?

Michael Lloyd also produced a group called Smoke in the late 60's-they are supposed to be good, I've never heard them myself.

Don "Fuzzy" Pricer said...

My name is Fuzzy Pricer, founder and songwriter of The Hard Times. Other than the Gray Ant G-107, the only other recording we made was one side of an LP acetate with some alternate stylings. I am blown away by the very belated reception of this recording. Just as a little background, Gray Ant was the label of Link Wray's brother, Vernon Wray who called himself Ray Vernon. Anyway, thanks for the nice words.

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