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Various Artists

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 and Pebbles 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.

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Bob Ruggiero

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