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flag Mare Smythii - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 6 - 04/22/97

Garage Nation

Crusaders : Addicted To Fuzz
Dionysos

The lime-green mystery liquid shouts volumes about The Crusaders and their approach to fun. Yeah, they're sporting purple medieval "crusaders" outfits in their latest photo, but it's their maniacal grins and twisted faces -- brought on obviously by the green fluid in the bottles they're clutching -- that says it all: Australia's The Crusaders know how to have a good time.

That feeling seeps through every crack of their Addicted To Fuzz vinyl 10" on Dionysus. The six song slab gurgles and sputters and falls all over itself in the absolute best of ways, and is the perfect follow-up to their previous Australian-only CD and subsequent Dionysus 45. All six songs, plus a full seven more, are also out as the Keep It Up CD. This French-only issue (on the always hep Larsen label) adds even more spittle to the stew, and the digital domain doesn't retract from the raw fun. Mix up some of that punch for me, boys, and pass the bottle. Yahooo!

Les Godzillas : self-titled 7"
Larsen

While in France, I should also nod approval to Les Godzillas, another blast from the new European wave of garage madness. Their self-titled five song 7" (also on Larsen) exudes the innocence and raw spunk of Frog garage, along with the goofiness that always keeps this stuff from getting dull. I mean, when Rodan is on organ, The Bionic Monster on bass and Demothra plays guitar, how could this junk be boring? Like most newbie garagers, Les Godzillas rely heavily on covers, but it's the attitude and atmosphere that gives their debut a warm, fuzzy glow.

The Lears : Her Magic Smile/Don't You Know
Misty Lane

I'll head south and touch base with one of the most prolific and ambitious of the Italian garage/psych labels: Misty Lane. Besides spiting out a slew of fine 45s, EPs and compilation LPs, Misty Lane also publishes one of the globe's most complete garage magazines. They also reach across the waters and give help to American bands, and Misty Lane's latest missionary project is Florida's finest folk-rockers, The Lears. This on-again, off-again outfit has squeaked out a few 45s on other European labels -- teasing us with their Rickenbacker sweetness and addled '66 psych energy -- and now deliver more delightful racket with Her Magic Smile and Don't You Know. The folk-rock side of the global garage equation has been sadly missing for the most part, and The Lears do their finest at filling the void. Where's that LP? Where's that LP!?!

For more garage reviews and information about the book The Knights of Fuzz: the garage & psychedelic music explosion 1980-1995.

(Editor's note: We wish to thank Timothy for his guest contribution to Luna Kafé. His book is greatly recommended.)

Copyright © 1997 Timothy Gassen e-mail address

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