As a music blogger and as a fan, the Internet has proven to be a wonderful place to discover both new music and extremely rare, lost music — and with ease. It’s also contributed to the proliferation of independent labels across the world, competing against the major conglomerates for your ears, attention and your hard-earned money. Unsurprisingly, smaller, indie labels have been more willing to take the sort of risks that their larger, monied rivals wouldn’t and couldn’t — including re-introducing artists, whose work was so wildly ahead of its time that audiences at the time of its initial release just couldn’t and didn’t accept, and yet historically speaking, filled in a gap that explains a contemporary trend; re-introducing regionally favored artists from a time when hit songs in Milwaukee were often different than hit songs in Atlanta, Baltimore, Des Moines, Minneapolis or New York.
Sadly, before the Internet, bulletin boards and the blogosphere much of this seemingly forgotten material was only known to cultish and obsessively dedicated insiders and collectors, who were known to spend their time seeking and collecting long-lost and long-forgotten albums, hoarding them in private collections or selling them at exorbitant prices at collector’s shows. Thankfully in many ways, the Internet and blogosphere have democratized the process, allowing the average listener and fan a chance to listen and to love some of these long-forgotten wonders; however, because of the money involved, labels
Unfortunately, because of the money involved, labels have mined beloved, popular and influential genres to exhaustion through endless compilations — in particular, psych rock, AM rock, doo wop, folk, soul and a few others immediately come to mind. Strangely enough up until last year, there hadn’t been many proto-metal, pre-stoner rock compilations when the Chicago, IL and Los Angeles, CA-based distributor Permanent Records released two compilations of incredibly rare singles from the 60s and 70s on Brown Acid: The First Trip and Brown Acid: The Second Trip.
With the help of Daniel Hall of RidingEasy Records, Permanent Records co-owner Lance Barresi spent time not just collecting and compiling the singles on each volume of the compilation, they also spent a great deal of time tracking down the songs creators, often bands who haven’t been together in over 30 or 40 years, and encouraging them to take part in the entire process. As Barresi explained in press notes for the two compilations, “All of (these songs) could’ve been huge given the right circumstances. But for one reason or another most of these songs fell flat and were forgotten. However, time has been kind in my opinion and I think these songs are as good now or better than they ever were.“ And by having the artists participate it can give the songs and the artists a real second chance at success, if not some kind of attention.
The third compilation of proto-metal and pre-stoner rock from the 60s and 70s, Brown Acid: The Third Trip is slated for release on October 31, 2016 and the third compilation’s first single, Grand Theft’s “Scream (It’s Eating Me Alive)” features enormous power chords, guitar pyrotechnics, thundering drumming, a propulsive bass line and howled vocals in a song that sounds as though it were channeling Led Zeppelin III and IV, Rush and The MC5 — in particular think of “Immigrant Song” “When the Levee Breaks” “Working Man” and “Kick Out the Jams” as the song possesses a bristling, swaggering fury.