Gotta Read The Labels: RidingEasy Records
Normally, I'd be combing through my music library trying to locate the perfect songs for the occasion and throwing together a nice little online compilation for everyone's enjoyment. Instead, I'm going to take the opportunity to spotlight a series of stoner rock compilations from RidingEasy Records, Brown Acid, which, as of today, will see the release of its fourth installment.
Beginning with its first volume in 2015, Brown Acid is comprised of obscure stoner rock and proto-metal singles from the 60s and 70s, located and curated by Permanent Records' Lance Barresi. Collaborating with RidingEasy's Daniel Hill, Barresi's passion for digging up these largely forgotten tracks has offered new life to this music via this expanding collection.
So, since Brown Acid: The Fourth Trip is out today, I thought it appropriate to post the selections from the entire collection. If you like what you hear, and I think you will, please support the label (and the artists) by purchasing the music.
The albums are posted with permission by Us-Them Group, who also provided the information on Brown Acid: The Fourth Trip. You can read that below.
About Brown Acid: The Fourth Trip:
If you thought we were getting close to the end of the Brown Acid series with our last Trip, you were dead wrong...we're only just getting rolling. The well of privately released hard rock, heavy psych, and proto-metal 45s is deep and we are nowhere near tapped out. Most of these records were barely released and never properly distributed so they ain't easy to find, but they're out there if you're willing to dig...and we aren't afraid to get our hands dirty. Hard calluses have formed from handling the shovel and we've sifted through a lot of dirt, but we've dug up another ten tremendous records to share with all the heavy heads out there. This volume brings together eight insanely rare and skull-crushingly heavy 45s as well as two previously unreleased bangers.
You may remember the Zekes' jaw dropper "Box" from the First Trip. If you don't, you better go back and refresh your memory, you stoner. That song rips! And so does this previously unheard recording we legally obtained from the Beverly Hills records vaults. "Comin' Back" is the longest tune we've yet to include on this series and it's a full-on rager! The only surviving copy of this recording came to us on the original 1/4" master tape from Hollywood's long-defunct Demars & Duffy Music. We did our best to preserve the recording and we think you'll appreciate the rawness.
There have been numerous groups named Bad Axe over the years, but the one you hear here is the baddest. This five-piece fresh outta high school kicked out this jam (and a few others) in a Chicago studio in 1973 just for the hell of it. As a garage band, they were previously named The Burlington Express and they went on to be known as Bitch, but these dudes hit their stride as Bad Axe and "Coachman" is their crowning achievement. It went completely unreleased until 2014 when Permanent Records issued it and "Poor Man, Run" as a limited edition 45 with a killer picture sleeve. It's long out-of-print and only obtainable now on Brown Acid.
The rest of the records included on this volume vary in rarity, but at least two of them were virtually unknown until we discovered them. You'll win the lottery before you find copies of all of the original 45s in even the best record stores. Many of the records included in this volume are owned only by the members of the bands and some of the band members don't even have personal copies. That's just how hard these guys hit it back in the day! We're lucky some of these guys are still alive and well enough to give us permission to use their masters.
About the Brown Acid series:
Some of the best thrills of the Internet music revolution is the ability to find extremely rare music with great ease. But even with such vast archives to draw from, quite a lot of great songs have gone undiscovered for nearly half a century -- particularly in genres that lacked hifalutin arty pretense. Previously, only the most extremely dedicated and passionate record collectors had the stamina and prowess to hunt down long forgotten wonders in dusty record bins - often hoarding them in private collections, or selling at ridiculous collector's prices. Legendary compilations like Nuggets, Pebbles, ad nauseum, have exhausted the mines of early garage rock and proto-punk, keeping alive a large cross-section of underground ephemera. However, few have delved into and expertly archived the wealth of proto-metal, pre-stoner rock tracks collected on Brown Acid: The Fourth Trip.
Lance Barresi, co-owner of L.A./Chicago retailer Permanent Records has shown incredible persistence in tracking down a stellar collection of rare singles from the 60s and 70s for the growing compilation series. Partnered with Daniel Hall of RidingEasy Records, the two have assembled a selection of songs that's hard to believe have remained unheard for so long.
"I essentially go through hell and high water just to find these records," Barresi says. "Once I find a record worthy of tracking, I begin the (sometimes) extremely arduous process of contacting the band members and encouraging them to take part. Daniel and I agree that licensing all the tracks we're using for Brown Acid is best for everyone involved," rather than simply bootlegging the tracks. When all of the bands and labels haven't existed for 30-40 years or more, tracking down the creators gives all of these tunes a real second chance at success.
"There's a long list of songs that we'd love to include," Barresi says. "But we just can't track the bands down. I like the idea that Brown Acid is getting so much attention, so people might reach out to us."
Brown Acid: The Fourth Trip will be available everywhere on LP, CD and download on April 20th, 2017 via RidingEasy Records. Pre-orders are available for digital (with immediate download of the first single) at Bandcamp, physical pre-orders at RidingEasy Records.
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Letters From A Tapehead