Green River is of that latter category. And while it can’t be said that the music is horrendous, only the most voracious of Seattle music fans need to take a listen. Figuring that all out, though, still allows for the band to be as historically important as the Gits, who much like Green River are cooler to think about then listen to on a regular basis.
Fred Cole has been doing music for the past fifty years or so. The Lollipop Shoppe, a ‘60s garage group that the singer and guitarist fronted, released a lone, now sought after long player. Oddly enough, though, that disc would prove to be the blueprint for one of the longest running ensembles in underground music as Dead Moon (comprised of Cole, his wife and drummer Andrew Loomis). That group wound up being cited as an influence by pretty much everyone coming out of the Northwest music scene. But for no other reason other than sheer boredom, the Coles split with their drummer and wrangled a new percussionist (Kelly Haliburton) to join them in Pierced Arrows. The Coles have spent a life time together making music, but this latest group can’t be said to exceed Dead Moon in too many ways.
Technology being what it was during the ‘60s, it should astound even the most casual listener of rock and or garage at how much similarity there was between, let’s say, the Sonics over there in Washington State and any number of groups copping American attitude in the UK and its affiliated territories.
That being said, those two places – and even countries on the continent, Germany specifically – were able to crank out a huge amount of music that bore some striking similarities. That’s not to figure that these groups playing what would become known as garage rock were necessarily all just ripping each other off, but there was a weird moment in rock history when everyone figured the same thing out in the early to mid ‘60s.
All of that notwithstanding, the rock music that’s resulted from Japan keeping an eye on its neighbors has been interesting to wade through. The only commonality that it all holds is players’ apparent affinity for mind altering substances as evidenced by the spate of tripped out music from the island.
The word shimmering comes into play here more than just a few times while taking a listen to Unfolding’s How to Blow Your Mind and Have a Freakout Party. From the title alone, it should be clear that the band has a (third) eye towards fistfuls of acid. But even with that predilection made so clear, there’re some pop songs included on the group’s only disc.
Between the project’s name – which is just a guise for Marc Richter to work under – and its album cover, it would make sense for this particular effort to be a revved up, heavy psych release. It’s not.
That’s how it goes.
For those folks, though, that are able to get passed all of that and unloose an album, single or otherwise, the results (even years later) can be rather impressive.
As a music student Joe Byrd ran into all kinds of influential folks that made up the east coast, intellectual cognoscenti. Byrd, though, high tailed it to the west coast, taking with him enough enthusiasm for a nascent electronic music that was making headways in rock to influence his first group’s and only long player.
There might be better psych out there, but it'd be tough to track down...
Independent of the punk and power pop that Australia cranked out – ie the Saints, Radio Birdman and the Scientists – New Zealand’s underground music expresses some longing sensation that’s absent from its brethren down under. It’s not better or worse, just different. The Pin Group and all of the Chris Knox affiliated ensembles are better known in the west than Peter Jefferies. That, however, isn’t due to his lack of output.