30 November 2013
The Litter - 1967 - Distortions
Trip-O-Meter: 4 out of 5
This slab from these Minneapolis psych rockers is typically viewed as an absolute garage rock classic in the vein of the Chocolate Watchband or the Electric Prunes. I'm not really one to argue with that. There's plenty of fuzzed-out guitars and rhythm section pounding to please the engroovied masses. Like the Watchband, the Litter weren't really too keen on composing tunes - at least not at this point. Thus, we've got some impassioned wailings on luminaries like the Who, the Yardbirds, and Cream. No, none of them are really on par with the originals, but this is right on target as the kind of thing you'd want to hear at full blast shaking the floorboards of a psychedelic house party.
The key track, "Action Woman," is an absolute acid rock classic that has graced choice positions on both Nuggets and Pebbles compilations. They didn't write it, but it's undeniably their tune. Outside of that magma intensity splatter painting of balls-out psych rock, I dig their take on the Who. As I mentioned before, they don't manage to displace the originals, but they do give a damn fine gritty American boot-stomping vibe on "Substitute" and "A Legal Matter." The seams show a touch on their attempt at a 'rave-up' on "I'm A Man," but again, in the right context and frame of mind it's a rollicking time. The originals on here don't really shine so brightly, but they work well as 60's album cuts and ultimately fit in on the more positive side of 'filler.'
I think a lot of people show up at the psychedelic garage for this kind of thing (although I like to think they ultimately stick around for the ragas and drones), and this is an immensely pleasurable example of a hard rockin', psychedelic time. If you haven't crossed paths with the Litter and you've already consumed your essential 60's rock, then you're gonna have a good time here.