While the White Stripes, the Black Keys, and the Hives have made some damn fine modern "garage rock," nothing beats the sounds from the genre's heyday in the mid-'60s. The Nuggets
compilations already have mined this mother lode of reckless, wailing vocals, fuzzed-out guitar, and caveman drums, with the occasional flourish of Farfisa. But what makes this generous 26-track compilation a must-have is its reliance on material from none-hit wonder bands like the Outcasts, the Unrelated Segments, Flash & the Memphis Casuals, and the Electric Company unknown to all but hard-core collectors or listeners of Little Steven's Underground Garage
. The album includes a few harder-edged holy grails, like the Castaways' "Liar Liar," the Seeds' "Pushin' Too Hard," and Count Five's "Psychotic Reaction." Texas garage is well represented with the Sparkles, Mouse & the Traps, the Outcasts, and a little, little ol' band from Houston called the Moving Sidewalks. They scorch with a pre-beard, pre-ZZ, 16-year-old Billy Gibbons-led "99th Floor." Raging hormones are spread in tracks like the-baby's-not-mine "Scary Business" and the old-fashioned romance of "Beaver Patrol." But at least one lady gets her say. On Denise & Company's "Boy, What'll You Do Then?" the lusty lass ensures her new beau right up front that she'll cheat on him often and without remorse. Though Uptight Tonight!
is a few tracks short of Ultimate
(where are "Dirty Water" and "I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night"?), all around, the album is a wonderfully greasy compilation.