1-2 Weeks

RS 6262HLP RS 6262HLP

180 gram exact repro reissue of the band's second album, their truly "out" classic from 1967, manufactured by Rhino. "Underground's evocation of a mysterious psychedelic funhouse that is both enchanting and distressing gets into motion with 'The Great Banana Hoax,' the hoax being that the words have nothing whatsoever to do with bananas or hoaxes. Instead it's a classy pop-psychedelic tune, anchored by killer Mark Tulin bass lines and the group's knack for dramatic stop-start tempos and pauses. Yet the band's love for embellishing tracks with unpredictable, undefinably weird sounds could not be suppressed. That noise near the beginning that sounds like a motorcycle revving up is actually a slowed-down vocal growl; the percussive effects that sound like a rock swirling around a bucket near the end are, Tulin thinks, made by a kalimba brought to the band via Africa. The next three songs seem to drift into a concept album of a psychedelic lost childhood with both blissful and sinister edges, populated by dolls, toys, and kids that inhabit the netherworld between reality and illusion. The best of these, 'Antique Doll,' was written by Annette Tucker and Nancie Mantz, the team responsible for the Electric Prunes' biggest hit, 'I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)'; Tucker and Mantz also contributed two other tracks to Underground. The gauzy, moody texture of the cut takes on a particularly creepy edge with the sci-fi-like cries near the end, which Lowe says is 'us crying at double speed. We played around with tape speed a lot.' Childhood imagery is abandoned on 'It's Not Fair,' a standard, if tongue-in-cheek, country-blues tune that derails into a strange spoken coda with maniacally ascending keys, like a wind-up toy suddenly accelerating out of control." -- Richie Unterberger