If you don’t know shit about RidingEasy Records‘ heavy psych/hard rock compilation series Brown Acid you don’t necessarily need to know shit about it to jump right in and start flipping through these smartly curated deep-dives through North American psychedelic rock rarities. The focus has primarily been on the hard to find, the out of print, and the completely unknown gems of the late 60’s through mid 70’s. I already know what a lot of heavy psych dabblers are thinking: Is this all going to be pretentious-assed, third rate, derivative bands that nobody cares about? No, actually the major constant here is the keen ears of Lance Barresi of Permanent Records shop and Daniel Hall of RidingEasy Records who steer it towards the rock, and not the schlock, in general.
The guys deserve some great amount of credit for not only digging through old dusty boxes of 60’s and 70’s rock records but for tracking down artists involved and honestly licensing the music. They don’t just go rip their favorite songs off of the records, they track them down, I mean I could only imagine the great stuff they’ve had to sit on just because a record isn’t tied to a particular estate, or the folks/label who pressed it are all dead or impossible to find. This sort of respect for provenance and honesty is the right way to do things when many labels around the world have far less integrity when compiling old and obscure music.
I personally jumped on board after reading an article on the series in Doomed & Stoned around the release of The Third Trip and have been hooked since. When folks call compilations like this ‘scraping the barrel’ I always flip out a little; I dunno… If you’re not ‘with it’ (rock music) hard enough to seek out the rarities and variations, life should be a bore. I’m the sort of grubby-handed weirdo who goes into a record store and basically touches every single record for sale, prioritizes maybe 3-4 things, and constantly researches the stuff that interests me. So, a compilation like this gives me an idea of standouts to look for in the appropriate section. Highlights for on Trips 1-5 have been numerous and generally within the acid rock and proto-metal spectrum per my own leanings. Tour‘s Zeppelin informed hard rock, Ash‘s doomed Sabbath/Pentagram-direct riffing, Mammoth are perhaps perfectly self-descriptive, and Spiny Normen‘s hot-box of garage jammed psych is way up there too.
The Sixth Trip hits with Gold‘s wailing bluesy ‘Sea Shanties’ guitar tone fiddling it’s way towards Blue Cheer‘s ‘Vincebus Eruptum’. The slaps keep coming with Heat Exchange‘s “Inferno” which had to have been at least a little bit Arthur Brown inspired. Backwood Memory‘s “Give Me Time” has a little bit of funk and a “Fortunate Son”-like progression that has a nice ring to it. The biggest hit here with me is Truth & Janey‘s track “Midnight Horsemen” which has me hot to track down their album. It is the sort of soul-kicking heavy psych/proto-metal gem that I inevitably find on Brown Acid comps and I couldn’t be happier knowing a copy of “No Rest for the Wicked” has my name on it, eventually.
This one was a big success for me and I found a few more things that I liked compared to The Fifth Trip. I don’t think a track-by-track is worth much considering my general lack of 70’s obscurities but the stuff I did connect with has me pretty excited to dig around for. If you’re generally looking to expand your knowledge and repertoire of psychedelia-infused hard rock these compilations are an easy induction into sounds you’ve never heard influenced by stuff you might have. Digging through the layers is always redeeming and I appreciate the work that goes into sourcing stuff I’d absolutely never have heard/found otherwise.
|Released||April 20, 2018|
|BUY/LISTEN on RidingEasy Records’ Bandcamp!||RidingEasy Records Website|
Empires might take a little longer. 4.0/5.0
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