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rating
8
Back from the Grave Vol. 1
Rockin' 1966 Punkers!
Crypt CD-0123
Series: Back from the Grave
Location: US
Info
Theme:Raw garage punk from 1965-1966
Obscurity:Moderate
Sound:Average
Artwork:Good
Information:Good (Brief intro. Notes about each song.)
Running Time:69:03
Review
Back from the Grave Vol. 1 is full of raw garage punk. It's a hit-and-miss collection, but when it hits, it really hits. That's not to say that any of these songs were "hits"—they're too raw for that—but the folks at Crypt who assembled this collection take pride in that. A warning on the back of the CD reads, "NOTE: THIS IS PRIMITIVE, RAW R&R! AS THE MASTERTAPES HAVE VANISHED, THESE CD'S ARE RE-MASTERED FROM THE CLEANEST AVAILABLE COPIES. SO SOME SURFACE NOISE DOES TURN UP—BUT, BABY, THAT IS R&R". If Crypt had its way, this compilation wouldn't even have come out on CD. The vinyl editions of Back from the Grave have more tracks and more, larger photos. They explain, "This kinda raunch is wild, low-tech slop and it just doesn't swing if it's on a friggin' piece of computer-age bullshit!" I don't know about that—digital garage punk is still garage punk. Before talking about the cool music on this compilation, I'd just like to note a couple of things about the cover art. The cover image shows rock & roll coming back from the grave, having been alive only from 1965 to 1966. The rock & roll zombie is burying everything that killed it, presumably, with a banner across the grave reading "GOOD RIDDANCE". I can understand the sentiment with some of the things being laid to rest here but they cast the net pretty broadly. Among the offenders are disco, rap, jazz, art rock, MTV, and heavy metal. Four bands are mentioned by name: Kiss, Genesis, Bowie and Elton. But there's more—also included in this burial are Woodstock and Pebbles (!), Sgt. Pepper (or as they call it, "Sergeant Dooper's Music Hall & Jazz Band"), and the most puzzling sign is one that reads, "JIMI & JANIS, glad ya died". According to the liner notes, "60's punk has nuthin' to do with the goddamn San Francisco-flowers-love-peace-LSD-psychedelic MORONITY of '67-'69! Fuck yer hippie Sergeant Pepper/Jefferson Airplane '60s memories'. This is PUNK ROCK". OK, 1960s garage punk is among my favorites, but I don't think it has to be an either/or proposition. Can't you be into garage punk AND be into late-1960s psych (or any other genre for that matter)? Given the angry tone of the Back from the Grave liner notes, I don't think they'd be swayed by my argument. Anyway, about the music, like many compilations, the best material leads off the disc, but the nice thing about Back from the Grave is that great tracks are to be found all through this 29-track compilation. The opening track is the high-energy "My Confusion" by the Elite, with a tremendous walking bass line. The next track is by the Jujus, who only put out two excellent singles in their career, each with very different vocalists. "Do You Understand Me" has a great riff and makes you wonder what might have been if these guys had been able to find a stable lineup. Both sides of the Alarm Clocks lone single are on Back from the Grave Vol. 1 and that alone makes this compilation worth seeking out. Other gems to be found on this compilation are the One Way Streets' acid anthem "We All Love Peanut Butter" and the infectious rocker "Scream" by Ralph Nielsen and the Chancellors. The rest of the tracks in this collection are of varying degrees of rawness and snottiness (I mean that in a good way). The people who assembled Back from the Grave definitely know their stuff and they know what they like—just don't ask them to listen to anything else!
Tracks
1.   Elite - "My Confusion" (2:12)
2.   Jujus - "Do You Understand Me?" (2:29)
3.   Alarm Clocks - "Yeah" (2:46)
4.   Alarm Clocks - "No Reason to Complain" (2:12)
  5.   Fabs - "The Bag I'm In" (2:24)
  6.   Malibus - "Cry" (2:16)
7.   Legends - "I'll Come Again" (2:08)
  8.   Rats - "Rats Revenge Part 1" (3:12)
  9.   Rats - "Rats Revenge Part 2" (2:35)
10.   One Way Streets - "We All Love Peanut Butter" (2:47)
  11.   Larry & the Blue Notes - "Night of the Phantom" (2:11)
  12.   One Way Streets - "Jack the Ripper" (2:20)
13.   Swamp Rats - "Psycho" (2:56)
  14.   Outsiders - "Summertime Blues" (2:50)
  15.   Banshees - "They Prefer Blondes" (2:26)
  16.   Triumphs - "Surfside Date" (1:45)
17.   Ralph Nielsen & the Chancellors - "Scream" (1:58)
  18.   Novas - "Crusher" (2:00)
  19.   Lyrics - "They Can't Hurt Me" (2:50)
  20.   Canadian Rogues - "Keep in Touch" (2:16)
  21.   Unrelated Segments - "Cry Cry Cry" (3:04)
  22.   Hatfields - "Yes I Do" (2:13)
  23.   Chentelles - "Be My Queen" (2:07)
  24.   Little Willie and the Adolescents - "Get Out of My Life" (2:12)
  25.   Ken and the Fourth Dimension - "See If I Care" (2:13)
26.   Me and Them Guys - "I Loved Her So" (2:12)
  27.   Intruders Five - "Ain't Comin' Back" (2:21)
  28.   Monacles - "I Can't Win" (2:12)
  29.   Lil' Boys Blue - "I'm Not There" (1:56)
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Page last updated
Sept. 8, 2005