The Cynics Painted My Heart / Sweet Young Thing 7″

Live tapes of this group shows their affection for grungy CHOCOLATE WATCHBAND-style music, showing how hard and tight they can be. Instead, their first 45 pushes the more melodic and weaving guitar-pop side of their sound. Lots of cool playing, and their cover sounds like a cross between THEM and the STONES.

The Cynics No Place to Hide / Hard Times 7″

A bit stronger than their debut EP. This band has a punkish ’66 sound with a singer who almost sounds like Gary Floyd of the DICKS. The A-side is the superior track, with cool fuzz and lead guitar.

The Marshmallow Overcoat Groovy Little Trip / Stop It Baby 7″

A groovy little neo-’60s psych band from Arizona that sports some great fuzz guitar. The A-side has a slight plodding feel to it but both tracks are redeemed by the anxious, crusty sound of their vocalist. Should be another 7″ out by this group.

The Untold Fables Every Mother’s Nightmare LP

Debut LP from this LA fuzz band who takes more than just a nod from the early PRETTY THINGS sound. Still, it’s better than the MORLOCKS but not as good as the CHESTERFIELD KINGS. And that’s a pretty good place to be. Cool snotty vocals.

The Untold Fables The Man and the Wooden God EP

A pretty neat neo-’60s release. 4 songs in all, full production that makes the sound clear but not wimpified. Cool guitar, slightly echoey psych feel, and a good cover of the EYES’ (the 60’s UK band much like the early WHO) “When The Night Falls.”

Thee Fourgiven It Ain’t Pretty Down Here LP

This trio cranks out some cool ’60s punk, especially on the instrumental side. At times, they remind me of SYNDICATE OF SOUND, maybe even a bit tougher. But the singer tries to “sing” too much, instead of snarl, and I found that a bit annoying. Otherwise, cool band and record.

Thee Fourgiven Testify! LP

A plethora of ’60s styles can be found on this new FOURGIVEN release. Although there’s an occasional fast punker (“Call Me Animal”), most of the material is in the atmospheric mid-tempo vein. Nothing is really wrong with the songs, but in general they lack sufficient wild abandon, guitar power, or hooks to really hold my attention. Note: the MIRACLE WORKERS represent the definitive ’60s punk standard nowadays.

V/A Sounds of Now! LP

Another cool neo-60’s recording put together by YARD TRAUMA’s Lee Joseph, this one international in scope. Overall, it’s kind of uneven, but there’s some top notch stuff here, including AL PERRY’s funny garage cut, the LAST DRIVE’s raw, folk-psych offering, the BROOD’s haunting number, and so on.

Yard Trauma Some People / No Conclusions 7″

YARD TRAUMA, featuring Tucson troublemakers Lee Joseph and Lance Kaufman, have managed to capture the essence and energy of ’60s garage psychedelia on this single. With a strong, upbeat, even danceable bass-line and an electric organ for flavor, they exhibit considerable madness. Good work.

Yard Trauma Some People 12″

Lately, there have been a whole string of neo-’60s releases that have successfully captured the genuine punky spirit of the times, and this new YARD TRAUMA EP is among them. Although they’ve adopted that acetate organ-based approach rather than a fuzzed-out guitar assault, they have enough raw power and snottiness to compensate. “I Got a Girl” and “Over and Over” are modern teen classics, so get down with these swingin’ cats.

Yard Trauma Must’ve Been Something I Took Last Night LP

Their second LP shows growth and diversity as well as a bit of taming. This type of ’60s-influenced psych kicks ass anyway, but since 90% of these songs are originals, YARD TRAUMA have managed to scan the decades and prove timeless and talented. Not as rowdy on this record as live, but not to be missed either way.