“Heavy Psych: the Power of the Trio Collage”
Jimi Hendrix Experience “Are You Experienced?”
Catalog # RS 6261
Original 1967 U.S. Stereo Pressing
Blue Cheer “Vincebus Eruptum”
Catalog # PHS 600 -264
Original 1968 U.S. Stereo Pressing
The Firebirds “Light My Fire”
Catalog # CST 589
Original 1969 U.S. Pressing
Eden’s Children “S/T”
Catalog # ABCS -624
Original 1968 U.S. Gatefold Pressing
1967-1969 were great years for the HEAVY power trios. Here’s four of the greats. Starting with the Experience, not really anything I can add that hasn’t been said already. These guys did it first, and did it the best.
Next up, SF’s Blue Cheer, do a lo-fi fuzzed, scuzzy imitation of the Experience and it works mainly due to hubris and audacity. The guitar tones are dirty and the solos are sloppy as hell. Just the way I like it.
Now for the most mysterious of the bunch, Crown Records Recording Artists the Firebirds. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery than Blue Cheer is ecstatic for them. The story goes the label wanted to merely cash in on heavy groups so threw together 3 session dudes to cut an album, not unlike the boy bands of today. What occurred is rock n roll’s greatest happy accident and a true cult classic. Firebirds are pure fuzzy, scuzzy stoner rock with plenty of nods and winks to Cheer and Hendrix. It shouldn’t work but it does. Also some proto doom and feedback annihilation ala Black Flag’s My War is present.
Lastly are Boston’s Eden’s Children which stretch out the most from the heavy blues roots and are probably the most overtly psychedelic. They have some groovy diversity and come off at times like Ultimate Spinach meets The Experience with a heavy dose of pop sensibilities at times and other times they can sadly veer off on indulgent tangents with endless noodling and guitar wankery. Still damn fine Record though.