31 January 2008

The Head Shop - 1969 - The Head Shop

Quality: 3.25 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 3.75 out of 5

The Head Shop is one of those horribly out of print oddities that it's practically impossible to find information on. My basic impressions are that I can't really tell if this was a legitimate band, or one of those psychedelic exploitation albums. Basically, the playing is very much along the exploitative lines; my wife doesn't know much about psych but she pointed out that this music reminded her of The Zodiac's Cosmic Sounds. Still, there's a touch more of weird inspiration than the bulk of exploitation albums have. For some reason, a lot of this album also makes me think of the music from Jesus Christ Superstar - especially around the middle with tracks like "Listen With A Third Ear" and "Opera In The Year 4000."

The best tracks here come near the beginning. "The Head Shop" is sort of a theme song for the scraggly remains of those who had tuned in and completely dropped out by 1969. A mirror universe Monkees' theme if you will. "Heaven Here We Come" is a nice mid-tempo heavy psych rocker, which also sounds like an outtake from the aforementioned Jesus Christ Superstar (I'm pretty familiar with that one as I joined a production of that musical a few years ago rockin' the cello down in the orchestra pit). At the end we find a few pretty wild and freaked out sounds with the total exploitation piece "Prophecy" and the echoing squealing sound effects of "Infinity."

Unfortunately, a good half of this album sort of just patrols the line between psych rock and proto-heavy metal. There's nothing embarrassing, but also not a lot to make me sit up and give these guys my full attention. The sound quality is a little iffy, but this may not be the band's fault as all I've got are ripped from vinyl MP3s that may have gotten a little distorted in the transfer process. STill, I'm not holding my breath for a remastered reissue.

For you psych rock junkies, there's more than enough here to warrant a spin or two. In fact, there very well may be a track or two here perfect for a homemade compilation (especially the first and last tracks), but I doubt the sounds of the Head Shop will stick with you for the long run.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Many thanks. Ultra rare record for me.

Anonymous said...

Have an original copy in very good condition (no scratches). It sounds great

savageYHS said...

Thanks for this Great album - I LOVE it!!
Happy New Year All!8-)

Sensei said...

the link doesn't work is all

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