The label proclaims in large capital letters: NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN! The cautionary liner notes by legendary rock impresario and label owner (Casablanca, Boardwalk), Neil Bogart ? then director of sales and promotion for Cameo-Parkway, which released this in October, 1966, making it the first album to contain the word ?psychedelic? in the title ? warn listeners, ?Take a trip ? Freak out ? Blow your mind ? You?re on your way to the psychedelic mood?.? What in the name of everything holy is going on here? Why, it?s the infamous acid trip soundtrack from ex-New Christy Minstrel, Rusty Evans (born Marcus Uzilevsky) and an anonymous group of tripsters and tricksters barricaded in a pitch black, dank dungeon known as the Cameo Parkway Studios in Philadelphia for a couple of days in August, 1966 to record what has been described in some circles as the after effects of what could have been an all-night acid session! Presented here in both stereo and mono mixes ? and as one of the earliest stereo mixes, it?s chock full of swirling, phasing sound effects, whereas the mono version is a bit more sedate with the impact of several of the effects somewhat muddied ? Evans sounds like a wigged out Sonny Bono (ca. his ?Inner Views? solo effort) on opener ?Color Dreams,? wherein he describes the effect various colors have on his mental condition ? imagine a psychedelic version of Ken Nordine?s ?Colors,? also released the same year!
The gentle female backing vocals soften the blow of ?Pink Ether,? which continues to employ all sorts of unidentifiable gadgets and gimcracks form the sound effects library at Evans? disposal and once again features some mindbending stringbending akin to Lou Reed?s wild extravaganzas on the same year?s debut Velvet Underground LP. Continuing in that vein, the contemplative ?When Rain Is Black? could be Rusty?s ?Sunday Morning,? a tender ballad with flute and xylophone backing that?s diametrically opposed to most everything else on the album. Frivolous lyrics about being on with the universe propel ?It?s All A Part of Me? through its bouncy, Dylanesque basement vibe, ca. ?Highway 61 Revisited.?
Evans cranks the mic levels up to 12 and screams his way through ?Turned On,? another snarlling garagefest full of power drills, crying babies, and swirling organs. He does start to go a little overboard on ?Psychedelic Moon,? resorting to a tuneless recitation of his scurrilous desires to hook up with his sweatheart, all buried under distorted electronics, bells, clanging percussives and cascading sound effects that predate psychedelic theatrics from the likes of Father Yod and his Ya Ho Wa 13 cultists as well as David Vorhaus? White Noise. Female backing vocals and rolling xylophone return to float through the mellow, loungy, Bob Lind-on-acid triptophonics of ?Shadows On The Wall,? which is both the albums best track, as well as its fullest arrangement ? this might have even made a quite lovely little single! At least, it wouldn?t have been out of place in one of those 60s psychedelic exploitation flicks like ?Psych-Out? or ?The Trip.?
The inspired garage insanity of ?Your Choice to Choose? is a must for all you vintage Kim Fowley freaks ? copamre this one to Fowley?s own psychedelic opus, ?The Trip? released the following year. And dig those pealing church bells and lilting flute interpolating the melody from ?Joy To The World? that wafts through closer, ?On Off ? Off On.? Just in case you couldn?t place the melody, Evan and his femal companion begin to sing the first verse before they?re cut off as the world explodes! Like far out, groovy, daddi-o!
Evans would go on to sign a deal with Columbia, who released his ?Psychedelic Psoul? (under the name The Freak Scene) the folowing year and also produced such all-time classic garage psychedelica as the Third Bardo?s ?Five Years Ahead of My Time? and Nervous Breakdown?s ?I Dig Your Mind.? He also sat in on some of It?s A Beautiful Day?s recording sessions before leaving music for a while to concentrate on his other love, painting. He?s now a respected and collectable artist, who occasionally works with his son in the Johnny Cash rockabilly tribute band, Ring of Fire!
So if you?re a fan of tripped out 60s weirdness, Dylan?s psychedelic garage period (?Blonde On Blonde,? ?Highway 61 Revisited?), Ya Ho Wa 13, Kim Fowley, Sonny Bono?s ?Inner Views,? or the Velvet Underground, you owe it to yourself to add this to your colleciton. Fallout have even upped the ante by including a couple of bonus tracks from a rare 1965 single that Evans cut for Musicor and released as Ry Cooper! The A-side, ?1983,? is a similarly deranged screamer, with soaring electronics and nasty guitar breaks over a vocal that approximates Barry McGuire in the midst of a painful bowel movement, while the much better flip, ?The Life Game? is an upbeat garage stomper, with more throat-shreading vocals and a galloping backbeat! 9/10 -- Jeff Penczak (24 April, 2007)