“…The Menace is loose again, the Hell’s Angels, the hundred-carat headline, running fast and loud on the early morning freeway, low in the saddle, nobody smiles, jamming crazy through traffic and ninety miles an hour down the center stripe, missing by inches…like Genghis Khan on an iron horse, a monster steed with a fiery anus, flat out through the eye of a beer can and up your daughter’s leg with no quarter asked and non given; show the squares some class, give em a whiff of those kicks they’ll never know…” – Hunter S. Thompson
When there’s so many cultural changes through a period of time, like the late 1960’s to early 1970’s, often only the major players will be remembered with thousands of others left by the wayside. However, among those hordes of forgotten might be some of the best material.
That seems to be the driving force behind the record label/archeology company called the Numero Group. Founded in 2003, they have dedicated themselves to releasing compilations of the deepest, darkest B sides to be found among the curated back rooms of record stores the world over. Wayfaring Strangers is their series of compilations dedicated to early folk and rock ‘n’ roll, which just released the subject of today’s praise, “Acid Nightmares”.
An 18 track compilation dedicated to the primordial metal and hard rock that was being gestated during the late 1960’s. The hippie movement was coming down hard and the mellow optimism that characterized the early years of the 60’s was getting trampled underneath the hobnailed boots of the Man. The Flower Children are dead, long live the Flower Children.
This is my quick aside to praise that goddamn masterpiece of pop-psycho art provided by Benjamin Marra. I fuckin’ love it and will be trying to track down the double LP vinyl release more for that jacket than the records.
Honestly, 2017 had been a bit of a slow musical year for me. While there’s been a couple of albums that I’ve been getting into, there hadn’t really been much that broke the door down and passed out on the kitchen floor, until I listened to “Acid Nightmares”. This comp is fucking amazing. If you are any kind of fan of rock n roll; classic, stoner, indie, punk, metal, psych, garage, whatever – you owe it to yourself to give this a listen.
Is every track on this comp a classic? No. It’s loose, raw and a little unhinged. It’s a thousand different bands keeping the operators busy with noise complaints all night long. What some of these bands may have lacked in technical proficiency, they more than made up for with raw enthusiasm and energy.
There isn’t a single track on here that I didn’t enjoy. I’m on my third listen in as many days and haven’t got tired yet. The soulful lament of addiction on “Hooked”, the gnarly tones on “Dark Dawn”, the dankest of riffs on “Grave Digger” or the wacked out psych growls of “Dooms Day”, there is so much good shit here.
It’s up for $10 on Bandcamp. I’m also going to start digging into all the other stuff the Numero Group have put out, as you should too. Get some!