By far the most ominous-sounding of the Bay Area's 1960s psychedelic bands, the music of Berkeley's Mad River comes across like a spiraling, acid-spiked descent into hell. With a raw, garagey style marked by Lawrence Hammond's quavering vocals and the interlocking exchanges of guitarists David Robinson and Rick Bockner, Mad River's sound conjures a darker, more menacing version of Quicksilver Messenger Service or early Country Joe and The Fish. No wonder the quintet's self-titled 1968 debut has long been at the top of many collectors' want lists. Mad River's tabs of tortured soul -- cuts like the lysergic opening rush of 'Merciful Monks,' the lengthy, labyrinthine 'The War Goes On,' and the truly demented 'Amphetamine Gazelle' -- add up to one cathartic ride, a ride that psych-heads will be tripping all over themselves to take again and again.
item # 36806