The Magical Mystery Psych Out:
A Tribute To The Beatles

Various Artists

On The Magical Mystery Psych Out: A Tribute To The Beatles, German acid rockers Electric Moon kick things off with a spot-on recreation of "Tomorrow Never Knows." It might be slightly more echoey with a louder guitar lead (and female vocals), but it's not really all that different the original. The Vacant Lots' take on "Julia" rocks a little more John Lennon's original paean. It sounds like a 60s send-up dance concoction, underlying the heartfelt lyric.

On "Martha My Dear," the Ruby Suns manage sweet harmonies on an obvious homage to Lennon and Paul McCartney, despite the mushy sounding keys. UK's the KVB give us "Taxman," the first arrangement on this collection that deviates from the original. Built on keys and programmed sounds, it's got a low and scary vocal, al though the rest of it doesn't ever go any place. The Underground Youth's "Come Together," over tripled high hat hits, features another low vocal with a unique single note piano riff mixed deep into a swirly synth noise that truly makes the tune.

There's a psych punk exploration of "Helter Skelter" by Kikagaku Moyo. Strangers Family Band's laconic "Sun King" burbs deliberate noises behind the equally deliberately sub-par acoustic with horns tuning up and snare drum hits. Yes, I get that we are going for a true "psych-out" of these classics, but with few exceptions, there is nothing new on The Magical Mystery Psych Out: A Tribute To The Beatles. One is reminded that on many Beatles songs, some featured, others sprinkled throughout their impressive catalog, the Fab Four pulled off some great psych-outs on their own, that obviously need no reimagining.

~ Ralph Greco, Jr.

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