Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band|
The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, Vol. 3: A Child's Guide to Good & Evil
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Volume 3: A Child's Guide to Good and Evil. With their soaring psychedelia, achingly pure folk-rock and Zappa/Beefheart strangeness, these seminal underground gems from the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band--Part One,... more »
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Volume 3: A Child's Guide to Good and Evil. With their soaring psychedelia, achingly pure folk-rock and Zappa/Beefheart strangeness, these seminal underground gems from the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band--Part One, Vol. 2 and A Child's Guide To Good & Evil--can be seen as encyclopedic primers of the late-'60s Los Angeles musical experience. These long-awaited legit CD debuts come direct from the original analog master tapes, with 2 bonus tracks CD, interviews with key band members, and never-before-seen photos from the band's personal archive! 14 tracks. 2001 reissue
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Not as much raw power as Vol. 2, but greater mastery
Phil Rogers | Ann Arbor, Michigan | 04/16/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The band hired a new engineer after their first record; this turned out to be a decisive move. Though sometimes suffering from a slight reverb overload, in general the mixes became more balanced from left to right and in depth. Their sound acquired a new signature by moving the drums farther towards the front of the mix. Similar to how drums are often used in African music, they assumed a strong melodic presence in addition to their usual functions of rhythm and timekeeping. On the group's last two disks, every instrument works together flawlessly to create the various moods and emotional resonances inhabiting each song. Though the gutty lyrics sometimes get lost in the reverbed ambience, it almost doesn't matter, so good is the emotive/psychological flavor generated by sound and lyrical meaning working together. As for Vol. 3, on several cuts, the band shows a mastery of jazzy and funky elements not heard before on their previous rock/folk-rock disk. The guys were still young (not yet twenty), but their corpus was an astonishing blend of maturity and exuberant freshness. "Eighteen is Over the Hill" is one of the more hauntingly memorable songs I have heard, coming across kind of mellow, MobyGrape-like; but there's a sad melodic tone not usually so pronounced on Grape songs. At the mournful chorus, a stunning meter change from 4 to 3 and back again is melodically accented by a wonderfully expressive tom-tom lick. This is quintessential late West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. "I like too much the . . . rain, power of my brain, sunshine, and the open road . . . ahead of me." [5+ stars] "In the Country" may be my all-time favorite country rock tune, even though I've only listened a few times so far. It exudes good vibes and strong emotion, with sweet touches of irony in the lyrics. [5 stars] "San Francisco's dead . . . in LA, no one's on the street . . . let's go off on our own in the country.""Ritual #1" [4 stars] "". First time I've heard raga punk. "There she goes being chased down the road to ruin" . . . "about to cry underneath butterfly skies . . . gone!""Our Drummer Always Plays in the Nude" is a quirky and adventurous, good-natured male adolescent coming-of-age song. [3 stars] "I like very comfortable girls who are straight, but not quite". In 1969 "straight" generally meant uptight [a non-swinger], though in another context referred to someone who drank rather than used drugs, or used no substances at all. But the boys in this band said they didn't use, so . . ."As the World Rises and Falls" Warm, slow and ambling; but sad, and mysterious. A little reminiscent of Donovan--melodically, rhythmically and in terms of the singer's phrasing. Gorgeously pretty song. A marvelously poetic and musical slice of life [5 stars]"Until the Poorest of People Have Money to Spend". Great hippie tune and lyrics, with way cool simultaneous juxtapositions of sitar and fuzz-tone guitar leads. More heartwarming, impassioned singing. [5 stars]"Watch Yourself" slow jazzy rock sounds, loud crowd sounds [including screaming young women] mixed with the music. More fuzz/grunge lead. Femme fatale story-song, with an intensely emotional chorus, and a long instrumental breaks which drive the ambience to an almost fever pitch. [5 stars]"A Child's Guide to Good & Evil" starts with a moody twangy electric folk guitar introduction. Vocals are mostly spoken narrative. This is the first really trippy song on the record. Textually, kind of an amplification of Pearls Before Swine's "Drop Out With Me". [5 stars]"Ritual #2" an up-tempo raga punk intro [with spoken words], leads into a more Beatlesque pop-rock song, but with the band's freaked-out electronic bird sounds [of several species] swirling above, around and through the mix. A very telling ambiguity is created by the substitution of "you make pretty beads . . . you make pretty flowers" in the main/sung part of the song for the nearly identical phrase "You make pretty babies . . ." in the intro. Both lead into the identical ending phrases "let's lay on the long green grass and look at them . . . and each other".
[4½ stars]"A Child of a Few Hours is Burning To Death": quirky narration/singing coupled with funky guitars. "We should have called Suzi and Bobby: they like to watch fires." "Napalm is perfect for women and children." [4 stars at least]"As Kind as Summer": beautiful run-on sentences with a [very original for 1969] vibrant punk sound gradually fades out to . . ."Anniversary of World War III": the track is silent, in keeping with the idea that the world would have ended, or else (?) said war would never have occurred. [On the LP version, the record just ends after the 'previous' song.] Great /perceptual/conceptual sleight of hand/mind. [unrated]"
A. K. Dentice | NZ | 06/15/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"These guys are well underated. There sense of humour production skills and musical ability are right up there. Though I feel this is the weaker of the 3 its still a must own. They for some reason remind me of the genuis that was WEEN a few years ago."
Soaring psychedelia and more
tramene | Louisville, Ky. United States | 04/27/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I became aware of WCPAEB only a few months ago. When I went on Amazon, i was delightfully surprised to find that they offered albums by this amazing yet unfortunately obscure band. I bought A Child's Guide because of the cool name and picture on the front. Judging this album by its cover proved to not be a mistake. I received the songs that I've loved and been introduced to many others. I always like it when reviewers go over their opinions for each song so that's what I'll do. Since there are many songs, i'll just go over the ones I like.1. Eighteen is Over the Hill--Probably my favorite song on the album. Gorgeous singing and smooth guitar. The contrast between the upbeat chorus and the haunting verses is interesting and enlightening.
3. Ritual #1--The reason I bought this album. Innovative and different.
5. As the World Rises and Falls--I agree with the other reviewer that this song kinda sounds like something by Donovan. It is really mysterious and elegant. Great song.
7. Watch Yourself--I don't know why I like this song. The melodies don't really seem to flow in a rhythmic fashion like the other songs I like. But, there is an air of mystery that I like. The singing is also soft, yet severe. An interesting song.
8. A Child's Guide to Good and Evil--Great song! Crazy, fanciful, and discentered. I don't really care for the lyrics of most of the stuff they do. They aren't bad, they just don't mean anything to me. But the lyrics on this song are so crazy that they seem to make sense, and I really like them.
11. As Kind As Summer--Strange song. Very short, only like a minute long. But I like it for some reason."