Friday, January 12, 2018

13th Floor Elevators - Easter Everywhere

This Texas band was certainly one of the trippiest groups of the 60's, especially outside of the San Francisco area. Led by the terrific voice of singer Roky Erickson, the group combined garage sounds with new psychedelic tones and effects (including their unique electric jug) to create an unforgettable, atmospheric backdrop to many acid drops. Of course, their hit, "You're Gonna Miss Me", appeared on their debut album but this follow up is at least as strong and possibly superior in some ways.

The trip begins with the somewhat droney, but immensely catchy, "Slip Inside This House" - fine melodies, terrific chorus, burbling jug and guitar lines interweaving with Roky's voice - truly powerful songwriting here. More fine and creative intermingling of guitar'n'vocal melodies in "Slide Machine", there's a beautiful and tender love song in "She Lives (In a Time of Her Own)", lead guitarist Stacey Sutherland takes lead vocals on his folk-rock-y "Nobody to Love" (with more cool guitar work and bongo-esque percussion), and side one of the vinyl ended with a slow, psychedelic version of Dylan's "Baby Blue".

Roky's "Earthquake" is a bit more garage-oriented, although still with psyche touches, he gives another lovely ballad in "Dust" (he did really have a way with melodies), and then there's the stompin' blues-rocker "Levitation" - one of their most potent tunes, easily and logically covered by punk bands in the 70's/early 80's to great effect. Love this song! Another breather with a heart-wrenchingly gorgeous serenade, "I Had to Tell You" co-written by Clementine Hall (jug player Tommy's sister or wife? She also sings on this one) before the psychedelic finale of "Pictures (Leave Your Body Behind)" - a Stones-y R'n'B number as seen through the Elevators' kaleidoscopic eyes!

Truly one of the best psych soundtrack albums ever!