Various Artists - Return of Son of Gutbucket: A Canadian Psych Explosion

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:8 Release Date:2017-09-29

Psych heads of the world unite! Ok, maybe it sounds unnecessary because they usually do. Still, with all the talk about how all forms psychedelic are on the up these days, gathering information on some of the emerging, or even existing psychedelic scenes or bands can be quite an arduous job. You'd have to dig out a fanzine blog to do it because the days of print editions of “Ptolemaic Terrascope” are long gone, and the online edition can only do so much. Thus, trying to find information about Return of Son of Gutbucket, a compilation of new psychedelic Canadian bands named after cult English psych compilations from the late sixties/early seventies, wasn't easy, and it was made even more difficult for non-Canadians, due to the fact that many of the bands come from less widely known cities like Nanaimo and Saskatoon. One interesting similarity is the cover art use of pigs, as the original Liberty Records compilations had them, too. 

Luckily, the effort to find information has a nice musical payoff, as we are talking about some good, faith psychedelic music. Anunnaki, with their “Obelisk Rising,” are a nice example. Their heaviness ranges somewhere on the Earth-like scale, an opener that goes straight for the jugular. Backhomes are from the completely different spectrum of psychedelia. Their “If You Want It” is from the ethereal, spacey side of the psychedelic spectrum. They could definitely find a way to the ears of fans of the 4AD sound. Hawkeyes seem to go for a Canadian theme with their surf-ish soundtrack style of psych, titled “You Are Frail and Won’t Survive The Winter,” which sounds as if they have all Godspeed! You Black Emperor albums in their collection.

Moths & Locusts and their “Genghis Khan” walk in the tracks of early Pink Floyd, while Psychic Pollution and “Vermillion Sun” show what modern psych sound can be like, with their concentration on analog synths that slowly roll through. Radiation Flowers and their “Stuck In a Maze” sound like a good cross between “Backhomes” and “Hawkeyes”, one of the best tracks here. Shooting Guns and their “United Fruit” shoot up a nice dose of a bad acid trip, best akin to what Hawkwind would come up with, and TBWNIAS’ “Fast Train” takes us back to the days when the boys in the garage discovered those spiced up sugar cubes.

All of this comes in less than 40 minutes, and all the tracks are unique to this compilation. They sure seem to love their psych up there in Canada, and the love shows in the music they have come up with in this compilation, one that may well become a collector's item.

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