Rejecting the square world has always been something at which angst-laden youngsters excel. If the subject matter of these three selections is any indication, then 1967 and 1968 were golden years to be putting down the Plastic People.
1. The Things, Jazz-Rock With Soul (Ray Pro)
We’re gonna play that new sound,
The sound of Jazz-Rock With Soul.
This is our music.
And it’s for generations now,
And the ones that follow.
The Things succeed with their primeval garage band rock ‘n’ roll, though a more problematic concept – the “Jazz-Rock With Soul” part – gets a bit lost in the shuffle. In name at least, though, the Things are beating Miles Davis to jazz rock by several years here.
These are brave souls. While I have no authoritative evidence for where they hailed from, I’d have to guess California.
2. The Jelly Bean Bandits, Generation (Mainstream)
A New York group with an excellent full-length LP and – unlike their beguilingly sincere West Coast counterparts – a cultivated sense of irony. This is a loud 45, too, and what the Jelly Bean Bandits couldn’t articulate with free association and wordplay, they put across with volume, feedback and crashing reverb.
“Generation” was released in 1967.
3. Savage Resurrection, Thing in “E” (Mercury)
In 1968, the Savage Resurrection took the hippie ethos of cultural secession and, with a throbbing beat and a whispered “it’s better,” imbued it with a menacing biker vibe all their own.
The fuzz guitars and the tinge of drugs and juvenile reprobation remind me of some of the heavier Texas psychedelia of the late 1960’s. The Savage Resurrection were actually a Bay Area group, though, and they, too, had an entire full-length LP to their name – of which”Thing in ‘E'” is the stand-out.