Various Artists - Brown Acid: The Fourth Trip

by Mark Steele Rating:8 Release Date:2017-04-21

The dramatic cover art of a young woman covering her eyes as though in distress, could determine the expected vibe on this 10-track compilation of heavy psychedelic rock tunes from the very edge of the late 60s into the time where the Vietnam war was still raging, and rock music began to build more meat onto its bones in the early 70's.

The roaring fuzzed/flanged-out guitar starter 'Leave It' by Kanaan, has strong nasal soulful vocals projecting out over a confident bass and drums. In equivalent measure, 'Oceans Inside Me' by Stone Garden, steams forward, fuzz-clad in a Black Sabbath crunching riff.

If the Doobie Brothers had jammed with Crazy Horses eraThe Osmonds, it would not be far off from being the funky jam, which Headstone deliver with 'Carry Me on'. Presented are well placed fuzzed out bass and guitars, alongside clear Hammond organ additions to the cemented bass/drums. The vocals are apt in their delivery, halfway between soul and rock in expression, powerful slickness.

Thunder rolling drums with treble-end bright overdriven guitars leads the charge on Wrath's 'Rock n Roll Fever' instrumental. Doubled-up bass and guitar harmony riffs on 'Numbers' by Bungi, carried by elements of Jefferson Airplane and Steppenwolf. For Early ZZ Top and Ten Years After fans,  the piledriving velocity on Erving Forbush's 'The Train', is proto-metal evidently in its locomotive like-energy,  Stoner-Bluegrass could be a style tag also. Though short and no solo included, it could have been more promising to have inserted a gear change here and there. Likewise, 'Coachmen' by Bad Axe, is Ozzy Ozbourne fronting a fast paced Hawkwind infused jam.

Now one of this writer's favourite tracks on the compilation. A close sounding cousin to Led Zeppelin's 'Good Times, Bad Times'  very funky and catchy, 'Comin Back'  by Zekes soars through the landscape, and has you caught in its tail winds whilst holding on tightly.

Heavy-to-light Black Sabbath groove with a nasal Jethro Tull type vocal, shows 'Warrant' by Ash as strong and certain of their caliber. The space-prog-ish last song 'Lucifer' by Axas, might have been a suitable contender for a low budget horror movie soundtrack. Brown Acid - The Fourth Trip, has an enjoyable easy riding essential classic rock atmosphere. A great continuation of an already well-gathered series for heavy psych rock fans.

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