Bam-Caruso was an English label that existed from 1984 to 1990. it was originally formed primarily to re-issue mod, freakbeat, and psych gems of the mid-sixties that were unjustly ignored at the time of their original release. the label quickly branched out, however, and began releasing music by contemporary bands of the psychedelic persuasion.
this compilation is evenly split between the sixties bands and the eighties bands. i should mention right off the bat though that the sixties material is for the most part better than the eighties material. okay, lets begin with the sixties material. my favorite song on this comp is "save my soul" (track #10) by the "wimple winch", probably the best of all the UK "freakbeat" bands. this band started out as the the "silhouettes" in 1961, became the "four just men" two years later, and had to switch it around to the "just four men" (clever, eh?) after being sued by another "four just men"!! by march of 1966,(when this song was recorded)however, they had evolved into the "wimple winch"(old english for "deep well").
"save my soul" is simply an awesome track, the kind of song the term "freakbeat" was invented for. one listen to it's menacing power giving way to the inevitable explosion and i can almost guarantee you'll become an instant fan. this is one band i would absolutely LOVE to own a full album's worth of material by. next up we have the "eyes" with their song "when the night falls"(track #11).a finer example of early mod you'd be hard-pressed to find. if you like this one, do yourself a favor and find their song "i'm rowed out with you", which is even better! fans of lewis carroll should check out the following track "jabberwock" by boeing duveen & the "beautiful soup" (track #12). a psych version of the poem!
some of you will probably enjoy the final track "liquidy headbox" by the "kings of oblivion" (track #22). i myself could do without that sort of instrumental silliness, which sounds like sub-par early "mothers of invention" to me. finally, i'd like to mention track #16, a song called "why(ain't love fair)" by "thee wylde maniacs". supposedly a bangor,maine garage band who put out one "45" on their own label(main-iac records) in 1966, there are those who say that this is all an elaborate put-on by arf-arf records honcho and maniacal sixties garage collector erik lindgren.
what is the truth behind this record? i have no idea, but whether it's a true sixties artifact or an extremely well done hoax, it's a great song, with it's insistent "pushin' too hard"-like rhythm and it's catchy chorus, it's a song you'll be glad to hear either way. as far as the eighties material goes, "plasicland" does a great, faithful version of "electric banana's" (aka the "pretty things") song "alexander" (track #2). honorable mention also goes to tracks #5,6,13,and 14. stay away from "giant sky" by "tortilla flats"(track #21)however. with it's intrusive horns and awful "dexy's midnight runners" eighties pop sound, you'll wonder why it was even included on this compilation.