1. The Cirkit - Yesterday We Laughed (ALT VERSION!)
  2. Thursday's Children - Dominoes
  3. Blue Boys - I Know
  4. Unwritten Law - This Whole World Is Blind
  5. The One Way Street - Illusions
  6. Fabulous Courdels - And You Believe Me (PREV. UNRELEASED)
  7. The Spacemen - Run For Your Life
  8. Thorns - I Want You (PREV. UNRELEASED)
  9. Buck Rogers Movement - Baby Come On
  10. The Checkmates - Get It While You Can
  11. The Chants - Hypnotized
  12. The Pack - Baby I Ask You Why
  13. The Soothsayers - Please Don't Be Mad
  14. Yesterday's Children - Feelings
  15. The What-Nots - I Need You Baby
  16. The Trolls - They Don't Know
  17. Next Step - I Said No
  18. The Grim Reepers - Two Souls
  19. Facts Of Life - I've Seen Darker Nights
  20. The Jagged Edge - Gonna Find A Way (PREV. UNRELEASED)
  21. The Run-A-Rounds - I Couldn't Care Less
  22. The Counts - Night Of Misery
  23. Beau Gents - Three Letter Word
  24. Del Rays Inc. - I'm A Lovin'
  25. Sons Of Sound - He's Gonna Ride
  26. Secrets - Somethin Good For Me
  27. The Runaways - 18th Floor Girl
  28. The Circus - Bad Seed (You're A Bad Seed)
  29. Jads - Miss Pretty
  30. The Moon-Dawgs - Baby As Time Goes By (ALT VERSION)

Gravel Volume 1 is the first in what hopefully will be a series of rare and ultra obscure garage rock from the 1960s. The series starts out strong, thanks to a fine mix of unreleased acetates, some hard to find sides and a handful of regional garage rock (from locales like Texas and PA) that have been compiled on other garage rock comps.

There's no doubt that Kumquat May Records decided to put together this series (limited to only 500 copies) based around the 5 unreleased alternate versions and acetates and a few of the astounding uncompiled tracks which are the main reason to get this compilation because they are fantastic. It helps to have a slew of other great garage rock to go along with those rarities. I only wish the compilation came with liner notes to help understand just how great the music is here.

There's nothing quite as exciting as finding unreleased acetates - and when those acetates contain fiery, pounding garage rock it's even better. The 5 unreleased acetates found on Gravel Volume 1 include Yesterday We Laughed (an alternate version) by The Cirkit, And You Believe Me by The Fabulous Courdels, I Want You by The Thorns, Gonna Find A Way by The Jagged Edge, and an alternate version of Baby As Time Goes By by The Moon-Dawgs. And all five of these songs are incredible with only The Fabulous Courdels being a little less than fab.

The original version of The Cirkit's (from Indiana) Yesterday We Laughed was originally released on the Unicorn label and has been compiled on the Quagmire Vol 2 compilation, but Gravel Volume 1 starts out with an incredible, rocking alternate that sounds like the drums are battling it out with the singer and that is worth the price of the entire compilation. There's ripping guitars, scorching vocals, and shaking rattling drums to accompany the whole thing and it just totally rocks.

Another unreleased tune is the fuzzed out rocker called I Want You by The Thorns which has an incredible harmony backing vocal, fuzz guitar and a raunchy lead vocal which is quite close to plea-perfection.

The Jagged Edge's Gonna Find A Way is an upbeat unreleased tune that sounds like The Pretty Things with harmonica and organ battling it out as the vocalist looks for a way out. You won't find better rhythm guitar than this track.

The original version of The Moon-Dawgs' (from New Orleans) Baby As Time Goes By was originally the b-side to You're No Good on the Bofuz label in 1966 and can be found on Highs In The Mid Sixties #13: Texas Part Three - but here we get an organ drenched alternate version which is incredible.

My least favorite unreleased track is called And You Believe Me by The Fabulous Courdels which just has some off key vocals - other than that the scream before the instrumental break and the rhythm is really sweet.

A truly amazing obscurity which has never been compiled and is highly sought after is Houston, Texas' own Thursday's Children - whose Dominoes was originally the b-side to their Air Conditioned Man released on the International Artists label (the same label for the Thirteenth Floor Elevators). This sounds like a garage pop tune that could've been created with the Bosstown sound thanks to its grooving guitar riff, faltering rhythm, handclaps and harmony vocals. Sadly, Jan Pedersen, the lead guitarist and lead vocalist of Thursday's Children, died in 2003 in a freak windsurfing accident, and Texas lost one of its unsung garage rock pioneers. How this band went under the radar for so many years is unexplainable.....---Patrick (read the whole review at Gullbuy)

Gravel Volume 1


Anonymous said...

Luv these! thanks for the Gravel posts. these rock bb!!! Roger

Oh, robot said...

Holy mackerel my man! Thanks a zillion for these!

largeandincharge said...