September Sucks: 10 Psych-Rock Gems to Hide Away With
10. Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats - "Vampire Circus" This band hates selling albums. They're British, use fake names, and press their vinyl in extremely small batches. That said, they're fantastic and pull off an authentic late '60s sound better than just about anyone else currently making records. Both of their releases, Vol 1 and Bloodlust , are winners from cover to cover.
9. Scorpions - "I'm Going Mad" Here is an extremely rare clip of the Scorpions (yes, the "No One Like You" Scorpions) showing us just how badly bands can stray from radness over time. Unfortunately, the other tracks that accompany this ace on the band's debut aren't nearly as strong.
7. Pink Floyd - "Echoes" A Pink Floyd tune is an obvious choice here, but the hits -- though valid and wonderful in their own right -- have been beaten deep into the ground by Clear Channel radio, and it'd be a cliche music journalist move to drop a Syd Barrett period song here: We don't want to be like that asshole you know that thinks the Stones died with Brian Jones. All 24 glorious minutes of this track, taken from the Live at Pompeii performance, serve as argument for the dominant nature of the post-Barrett era Floyd.6. Black Mountain - "Wucan" Eerie female vocals, smart riffage, and a steady beat. What more could you want? Oh yeah, a '70s synthesizer solo! Black Mountain, from Vancouver, have got you covered! And they toured with, uh, Coldplay. Weird, right?
5. The Amboy Dukes - "Flight of the Byrd"Before Ted Nugent went completely insane, he played in a really great psych band called the Amboy Dukes. Ridiculous politics and bat-shit commentary aside, the Nuge is and always has been an exceptionally good guitarist, and this song (named after his Gibson Byrdland guitar) is a great example of the fire young Teddy played with.
4. Thee Oh Sees - "Robber Barons" This track is lazy sounding in all of the right places, and in a sea of really terrible "lo-fi" acts, Thee Oh Sees stick out in a way that is refreshing and authentic; perhaps this has something to do with why Keith Morris (OFF!, Circle Jerks, Black Flag) name-checked this group in every interview he gave in 2011.
3. 13th Floor Elevators - "You Don't Know" Hailing from Texas, the 13th Floor Elevators were one of the most important strands making up psych-rock's DNA. Roky Erickson, the band's leader, has a tragic history of mental illness including forced shock therapy treatments. But Roky's a classic. The band had an electric jug player, as if things weren't weird enough already.
1. The Brian Jonestown Massacre - "Anemone" We will end our isolation with the group most fans of the psych-genre think of first when it comes to modern psychedelia. The track speaks for itself, so we'll shut up now.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.