Greylock Mansion - s/t. 1969 USA (archival)

Lysergic Sound had previously released a wonderful compilation called St. Albert's Dream. And from that we learned of many new obscure 45s and archival recordings. For me, the very best was a track called 'Catafalque' from a band named Greylock Mansion out of Tuscon, Arizona. So when the announcement came that there was a whole album's worth of material from 1969, the excitement level in the underground most surely spiked. It certainly did for me. Often times, though, these modern discoveries from the psych era are a disappointment. That is definitely not the case here.

The informative liner notes let on that Greylock Mansion were heavily influenced by both Iron Butterfly and The Doors, as well as opening for acts as obscure as Brain Police from San Diego. And there's your recipe ingredients for Greylock Mansion. This takes the best elements of all 3 bands: The heavy fuzz sinister sound of primo Iron Butterfly, the somewhat psychotic Morrison-like rantings and vintage organ of The Doors, and the cut-above psych-era songwriting of Brain Police. The Doors influence in particular shows up most prominently, and the closer 'Mars' is as heavy a long form 60s track as you will ever hear. All throughout I was reminded of another band with a similar background, but 100's of miles to the northeast and a completely different landscape - and that would be Dragonwyck from Cleveland. There are many similarities between this album and the 1970 demo recording of Dragonwyck (aka Fire Climbs).

One concern I had going in was how would the sound quality be. And while it's hardly Abbey Road, only the most finicky here will be disappointed. It's certainly no worse than the Mystic Siva album (another reference actually), and that was released real time. The only track that is less than ideal is 'Spiders', but the music will erase any annoyances you may feel.

This LP is a must pickup for fans of heavy psychedelia.

Personal collection
LP: 2015 Lysergic Sound

Unlike St. Albert's Dream and Devil's Kitchen from Lysergic Sound, Greylock Mansion does come with an informative history as noted above. In addition there is a deluxe lyric sheet, and a 8x11 repro of a vintage concert poster. Awesome all around.

The only strange omission was that of the track 'Amazon' (a nice psych pop tune like The Doors in a similar fashion), which was the B Side of 'Catafalque'. Perhaps that will be covered in a later comp or CD reissue.

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