Be A Caveman, The Best Of The Voxx Garage Revival - Various Artists

Label:Voxx Records (America)
Highlights: It's Not Me (The Tell Tale Hearts)
Green Slime (The Fuzztones)
I'm Not There (Plan 9)
I'll Make You Sorry (The Odds)
Psychedelic Boy (The Leopards)
This Ain't My Time (The Barracudas)

Rating: 10/10

Voxx Records was started at the end of the 70's, by Bomp Record's Greg Shaw, with the plan to release bands playing pure mid-60's music, whether it be garage, psych, surf, beat, folk-rock or some combination of the above. Over the next decade, Voxx records virtually became the catalyst of an entire scene, which sprung up as many young people around the world discovered 60's music and fashion. By the end of the eighties, Voxx Records had released records by many of the genre's leading bands, including The Fuzztones, The Cynics and The Chesterfield Kings, all of which are featured on this CD. Be A Caveman, not only collects 27 of the best tracks released on the Voxx label (many of which are making their first appearance on CD) but also gives an excellent overview of one the least heralded scenes in American music history.

I have to say I was amazed at the authenticity of most of these songs, which not only sound like they were recorded in the 60's but more importantly capture the spirit of rebellion and adventure that makes this style of music so appealing. While most of the songs sound like they belong on a Pebbles compilation, there are a few surprises. The Eyes Of The Mind's She Only Knows is reminiscent of such late 60's British bands as Pink Floyd, Tomorrow and even the Beatles and was recorded by Mark Wirtz, who had produced some of these very bands at Abbey Road Studios in London. The Leopard's Psychedelic Boy is English whimsy satire as originally perfected by the Kinks. However, my favourite track is the Tell Tale Hearts' It's Not Me with it's Bo Diddley opening and genius tempo change halfway through. The only weak track is the Laughing Soup Dish's Teenage Lima Bean, where the band gets lost in their psychedelic excesses.

Just as the Nuggets series introduced a whole new generation to the more obscure and underground side of 60's music (and subsequently caused a rash of 60's garage compilations like Pebbles), this CD might well do the same for the 80's garage band revival. Well, we can only hope.

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