I have yet to hear the other three volumes so I can't really compare the quality of all of them to say which is the best, but I can truly say that Volume One is well worth owning.
Out of the 23 tracks here, in total 12 tracks are crucial in my mind. Doesn't seem like a lot but in this age of cds, that just means there's that many more bonus tracks added to those 12 crucial tracks.
Because all the track numbers getted bumped one number because there is an uncredited intro, I'm going to review the tracks one by one with the correct numbering.
- Introduction We start with a minute long intro to the disc which segues right into ....
- Astros - Space Walk * This instrumental track reminds me of a cross between Joe Meek with its organ and echoed effects and surf intsrumentals. This combo makes this track a winner.
- Premiers - Get On This Plane * The Premiers are, in my mind one of the very crucial 60s groups thanks to their version of Farmer John (eventually covered by A Billy Childish project) which can be found on the excellant West Coast East Side Sound compilation. This song, also is on that compilation, but we get it here at the Z. Produced by Larry Tamblyn (of The Standells) this track has an awesome fuzz/organ riff and is just so damn dirty sounding.
- Fantastic Zoo - Lightshow * I like the clock like laid back rhythm - it gives me a Monkees gone psych feel - and this really sets the mood for the lightshow brings me back to the day with great period description.
- Flower Power - You Make Me Fly - This is upbeat with rolling drum patterns, organ and catchy clean guitar which mixes with a fuzz guitar every so often. The male/fem vocoals are sung together well.
- One Mile Ahead - Contribution - This one is not that great. Skip it
- Picture - Evolution * This track has excellant use of flange, and is truly acid-drenched, with pounding echoed drums, meandering/dualing lead guitars, and incredible vocals.
- Apple Glass Cyndrome - Someday - A Pink floyd inspired tune with fuzz guitar it has an extended instrumental introduction but didn't do much for me.
- Kollektion - Savage Lost * Crucial sounding raw psych - this is a definite fins on this compilation so check it out.
- Apparition - Apparition - This track has lots of mellotron (if you dig that sound) but is predictable sci-fi rock.
- Brass Toads - In The Back Of My Mind - This track has really rocking psych vocals but is just ok because it is little too meandering.
- Black Rose - Love Handles - Black Sabbath inspired tripe with horrible organ break - I really didn't like this one at all.
- Troy - Amnesia - This track isn't really too bad but I felt it was kind of generic sounding with it's Who-like vocals in it.
- Tommy Jett - Groovy Little Trip * Wow this song just moves along for a few minutes until we get to the incredible guitar break in the middle. Give it a listen to see what I mean!
- Twilighters - Nothing Can Bring Me Down * I love this rocking psych tune with Hendrix inspired fuzz and the 'my mind is so messed up' styled lyrics. Damn fine!
- Inexpensive Handmade Look - What Good Is Up * A harmonica driven rocker - this track has a pounding good overall sound.
- Jason Merrick & The Finders - I'm Not What You Are - Pretty good garage-tinged pissed off piece of work, but I'm not sure it's that crucial. Check it out though because you may like it even more than I did.
- Johnny Thompson Quintet - Color Me Columbus * Fuzzed out riffs with whiney vocals, this guy sounds like a true maniac in an almost Beefheart kind of way - with the added bonus of flutes and bongo-styled percussion, this song goes many places in very few seconds. One piece of fine Psych handed to you on this platter.
- Scorpion - I'm Only Human - A Deep Purple groover - did nothing for me.
- Embryo Infinity Rebirth - Walls - This track has almost a celtic melody. I'm not sure what I think of it!
- NGC45 - Skippin Thru' The Night * Flute-filled dreamy soft psych - a jazzy gem that had my head spinning with how good it was!
- Stu Mitchell - Acid * A personal LSD confession with a creepy sound because of the strummed piano strings and whispered vox. Pretty damn sweet - and what the crazed doctor ordered.
- Tommy & The True Blue Facts - I'm Back * We finish off with a second anti-drug number which goes well with the previous track. This one is all about getting off of drugs and coming back to reality. Thanks Tommy for the insights!
*Fave Tracks: 2, 3, 4, 7, 9, 14, 15, 16, 18, 21, 22, 23