Northwest Battle of the Bands 2 / Various: Northwest Battle of the Bands (Vinyl LP)

Northwest Battle of the Bands 2 / Various: Northwest Battle of the Bands (Vinyl LP)

Sundazed Music Inc.

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All 25 of these 1963-1967 tracks were generated by the mini-empire of Jerry Dennon, who recorded numerous Northwest bands for issue on his own labels or lease to others. Not one of these tunes made a national impact, and even if you have a good number of '60s garage anthologies on your shelves, you may well have heard of none of these bands, besides the Sonics and perhaps Don and the Goodtimes. As garage comps go, it's middle-of-the-pack, but respectable, aided by a concentration on original material rather than covers. Most Northwest bands - including most of those on this CD - were distinguished from other regions by a heavier R&B influence and lumpier backbeats, although they did pick up some accoutrements of the bluesier side of the British Invasion in fuzz guitar lines, harmonica, harmonies, Animals-/Them-style organs, and blustery vocals. There's nothing here that screams shoulda-been-hit (or even forgotten gem), but it pounds along pretty authoritatively, with some occasional eyebrow-raising weirdness, as in the Bards' cuckoo version of My Generation, which is actually one of the best covers ever of this familiar standard. As far as some unusual pre-fame names, Larry Coryell is the guitarist on the Checkers' 1963 R&B instrumental Black Cat, while the New Yorkers, one of the poppiest acts here on their 1967 single Again, would evolve into the Hudson Brothers Move Over ; Let Me Fly - Live Five, I Should Know - Tom Thumb, High Time - the Sonics, Hey Girl, Knock You Flat - the Dimensions, My Generation - the Bards, Daddy Walked in Darkness - Gil Bateman, Please Come Down, Get Yourself Home, Who Do You Love - Jack Horner ; The Plums, Sorry Charlie - the Scotsmen, Black Cat - the Checkers, Mercy Mercy - Mercy Boys, Try Me - the Moguls, Tough Enough - the Scotsmen, Louie Louie - Don ; The Goodtimes, I've Searched - the Juveniles, Louise - the Raymarks, Alki Point - the Jesters, Again - the New Yorkers, You Better Slow Down - the Heirs, Another Side, Alice Designs - the Gamblers Mr. Lucky ; The Gamblers Mr. Lucky ; The Gamblers, Little Sally Tease - Don ; The Goodtimes, You Got Your Head on Backwards - the Sonics