Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Animated Egg - Guitar Freakoutdotdotdotdot
artworkThese session were fronted by the very successful studio guitarist Jerry Cole. Like his session mates, Cole was right in there with the Wrecking Crew and similar caliber players. He is heard on countless hits in many styles.

This is one of the great curiosities of the late sixties. I say that for several reasons. Most of what the studios produced from such sessions was technically clean and precise, but seldom had chemistry, grit, or interesting sounds. There are a million examples, including some of Cole's work. The Animated Egg, however, produced some astoundingly cool psychedelic sounds, which were released and released under different monikers between 1967 and 1970, names such as Black Diamonds, T. Swift and the Electric Bag, The Generation Gap, The Stone Canyon Group, and with phasers on stun, 101 Strings astounding Astro Sounds For 2000.

Now, one would expect artist names like The Generation Gap to be pure pop nonsense, but some of their material is stylistically close to the large venues of the sixties. So, sit back, close your eyes, crank up the volume, and dig it. There are a few fleeting moments of reverb guitar, but this is NOT a surf record. It is an adventure in instrumental wig-out.
Picks: A Love Built On Sand, I Said, She Said, Ah Cid, Tomorrow, Sure Listic, Sippin' And Trippin', Sock It My Way, Fool's Luck, What's Your Bag?, Boil The Kettle, Light Show, Expo In Sound, Free Form In 6, Hard Times, Kimeaa

Track by Track Review

A Love Built On Sand dotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf 'n Swirl (Instrumental)

"A Love Built On Sand" is kind of a psychedelic jam in the studio sense, but with Jerry Cole's guitar fuzz tone much like Kris Larson (Indian Puddin' N' Pipe) achieved, and right in line with the 101 Strings acid sessions. A bit of go-go/discotheque beneath a psychedelic swirl.

Inside Looking Out dotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf 'n Swirl (Instrumental)

Surf guitar with a bit of distortion plays against a sort of Memphis jam underbelly. It's the surf guitar that makes this more than just a funky jam.

I Said, She Said, Ah Cid dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf 'n Swirl (Instrumental)

Heavy dark fuzz, a relentless throbbing beat, and no shortage of psychedelia. In many ways, "I Said, She Said, Ah Cid" links this and the Astro-Sounds From Beyond The Year 2000 sessions. Light that incense, turn on the black light, and groove to the trance of misfiring synapses.

Tomorrow dotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf 'n Swirl (Instrumental)

"Tomorrow" is actually a cover of The Spencer Davis Group's "Gimme Some Lovin'" with a heavier west coast flavor. Jammin' organ and very cool guitar lines, including some spectacular runs.

Sure Listic dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf 'n Swirl (Instrumental)

Great guitar with an almost banjo meets surf sound, harmonic chords that didn't make it into music again until the Mermen's Jim Thomas and The Aqua Velvets' Miles Corbin brought them into surf. Imagine country surf psychedelic side trips and you get the idea.

Sippin' And Trippin' dotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf 'n Swirl (Instrumental)

"Sippin' And Trippin'" is less affected mix of 101 Strings' "Barrier X-69." in cleaner form, it's darn friendly and surfy. Very nice.

Dark dotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf 'n Swirl (Instrumental)

"Dark" smacks of movie music for a Hollywood psychsploitation flick, lacking only the concerned narrator waxing sadly of the road to ruin. In reverby form, it's still pretty goofy.

Down, Down And Gone dotdot
Psychedelic Surf 'n Swirl (Instrumental)

Completely dismissible studio drek... it goes on and on without ever developing a melody. Just phasing and fuzz for the washed out generation. You can almost hear this behind Goldie Hawn's dancing on Laugh In.

Sock It My Way dotdotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf 'n Swirl (Instrumental)

"Sock It My Way" is a vibrato distorto wonderama, a real deluxe psych find. It's thick and ultra edgy, hypnotic and nerve rendering. The whistling Moog adds to the uneasy soundscape. While it's a very different mix of "Flameout," it's still frighteningly psychedelic. Gawd!

That's How It Is dot
Psychedelic Surf 'n Swirl (Instrumental)

"That's How It Is" is a bizarre pop-o-jazz number that is, well, not untypical of 101 Strings in character... forced and shallow.

Fool's Luck dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic (Instrumental)

This is really heavy compressed psychedelic guitar howl from an unexpected source. While "Fool's Luck" is all jammy, there were a lot of actual bands that would have liked to sound this genuine and heavy back in the late sixties. Very big guitar plays a psychedelic flights of fancy over a relentless backtrack.

What's Your Bag? dotdotdot
Faux Psych (Instrumental)

This flowing track has a bit of a sad feeling about it. Nicely performed, especially the swirly organ glissandos that sound so Sunset Strip. "What's Your Bag? " hints of Iron Butterfly at times.

Boil The Kettle dotdotdot
Psychedelic (Instrumental)

"Boil The Kettle" is an intensely loud electric blues jam born of the British tradition with intentionally stilted guitar lines between verses. It's not melodic, but it sure does remind me of the likes of Rory Gallagher.

Light Show dotdotdot
Psychedelic (Instrumental)

The drums here are really cool, and the guitar suggests The Byrds aurally with British melody sensibilities. "Light Show" has a haunting bridge and some really nice guitar interaction. Many such studio sessions are light on the genuine scale, but this is very well done.

Expo In Sound dotdotdotdot
Faux Psych (Instrumental)

Super trippy weirdness from "Expo In Sound." Right from the start, the bass (fretless?) or synth plays super low down slithering grumble, while the guitar and organ meander in and out of awareness. Howling feedback and a ballroom groove complete this adventurous number. If you ever went to the midsize ballrooms back in the dazed and confused days, you heard these kinds of sounds.

Free Form In 6 dotdotdotdot
Faux Psych (Instrumental)

Jazz drums a la Joe Morello (Dave Brubeck Quartet - "Take Five"), and there are other similarities too. The guitar noodles around in a flight of fancy, While the bass plays a superb psych run, and the organ holds up its end of the bargain. Plenty of mind numbing string work, and feedback, and more. "Free Form In 6" is pretty darn trippy.

Our Man Hendrix dotdot
Psychedelic (Instrumental)

Big piano and very cool bass lay down a back groove that is disappointed by the jam above. Long sustain fuzz and mind "bending" journeys. This is loud and powerful, but not my cup of tea.

Red Eyes dotdot
Faux Psych (Instrumental)

"Red Eyes" is a jammy faux psych track with R&B organ and a pumping bass line. It's not melodic, more like a Memphis session jam.

Hard Times dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic (Instrumental)

"Hard Times" is a rather gnarly alternate version of "I Said, She Said, Ah Cid," also titled "Trippin' On Lunar 7." This is big, dark, psychedelic, and grode to the max. Sounds like this floated through Matthew Katz' San Francisco Sound Ballroom on any given night in Seattle in 1968. It's all about sustain, warbled weirdness, and hypnotic puling rhythm.

Tune Out Of Place dotdotdot
Psychedelic (Instrumental)

This is a light jazz guitar exercise born of respect for those smoky Wes Montgomery albums your dad had. The organ work is more like a psych band, but otherwise this could fit right in with the rest of your Verve collection.

Kimeaa dotdotdot
Psychedelic Fuzz (Instrumental)

Liquid piano tinkling and fuzz lumbering over H. P. Lovecraft drums and stylings, but a little less pompous and without the operatic vocals. It reminds me of a toned down "Keeper Of The Keys," but more hypnotic. Pretty nice.