Blues Magoos – Electric Comic Book

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For my first album review, I’ve decided to go with a recent addition to my collection: an album called Electric Comic Book by Blues Magoos. Released in 1967 on Mercury Records, this album is the group’s second album following their 1966 release of Psychedelic Lollipop. The band would only have one more album with this line up (Basic Blues Magoos) before breaking up in 1968. This album is a perfect album to start with because it encompasses a wide range of 60s underground styles. At different times this album is garage rock, psychedelic rock, protopunk, and blues. Visually, the album cover is appealing. The colorful text and layout let’s you know you’re dealing with something magical from the 60s. From the moment you drop the needle on side one, you’re asking yourself “Why have I not heard of these guys before?!” Side one begins with “Pipe Dream” a song that immediately displays the bands versatility. It’s definitely one of the highs on the album. From there the Blues Magoos go through two more solid originals––”There’s a Chance We Can Make It” and “Life is Just a Cher O’Bowlies.” The fourth track is the peak of the album. It’s a cover of Them’s “Gloria.” If you’ve heard the original, it’s pretty similar with perhaps a slightly harder, more protopunk feel to it. The fifth track is a short, quirky song called “Intermission,” that transitions between side one and side two in a comedic way. All in all, side one is an amazing adventure into the 60s underground. Unfortunately, side two loses steam pretty quickly. The first track “Albert Common is Dead” is an interesting psychedelic journey, but it’s not as fresh as I’d have hoped. Things only get worse with “Summer is the Man,” a slow, reflective tune that disappoints. By the time you reach “Baby, I Want You,” you may start wondering why you turned the record over, but hold steady: it improves. The fourth track, a cover of Jimmy Reed’s “Let’s Get Together,” is a true gem. It’s even bluesier (if that’s a word) than Reed’s original and really hits the spot after the slow beginning of side two. “Take My Love” is a solid tune for track five that recalls an early 60s rock ‘n’ roll. The sixth recording, “Rush Hour” will be a hidden masterpiece for some and the worst track for others. It’s much more protopunk than anything on the album and sounds like something The Velevet Underground could have done in their early experimental years. The album closes on a comedic rendition of Porky Pig’s “That’s All Folks.” Overall the album is extremely solid. If you come across this album in your local record store, snatch it up before someone else does.  B+

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