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Fortune Teller - Inner-City Scream (1968)


Raw 70s garage rock with a rough urban edge as hinted by the title; obvious influence from late 60s Stones but with the macho posturing replaced by a bleak blue collar outlook that gives it a realistic presence, not unlike the rootsier tracks on Rayne. Minimalist and concise, devoid of any hippie dreams, very appealing in its honesty. Imagine the guys in Clap after a week of hard factory shifts, or Boa's older Viet Vet brothers. Killer 60s garage-psych moves on "Looking Glass World" is a highpoint with fuzz-lead and bass runs straight out of "Psychedelic Disaster Whirl"; a couple of tracks show a more sensitive melodic side that works well too. A mysterious "1968" date on the sleeve and label had people thinking the LP was from the late 60s, an indication of its timeless nature. May appeal to fans of 70s punk/DIY. Originals all through I think. Judging from this and the George Brigman LP, Baltimore was a pretty heavy place in the late 1970s.

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This album exists in a time warp. It’s from the midst of the first punk era, but sounds genuinely 60s garage the way no neo-garage band ever did. The fuzz guitars are everpresent, and the songs are pure garage pop and garage rock, rocking hard without ever sounding remotely “hard rock.” The sound is as cheap as can be, which only accentuates the coolness of the fuzz. Despite some awkward singing, there are a lot of catchy melodies here, and I can imagine that Baltimorians who discovered “Nuggets” in the late 70s went nuts over this band. A few songs flirt with rural rock, but basically it’s teen-sounding angst, just as cool as their punk peers.

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Fuzzy underground album recorded back in 1968, and released as a private pressing of 500 copies. The band formed in Baltimore, Maryland by Danny Amburn, John Holt, Joe Klimas, Mark Beyder and Bob Wells. Their album, heavy at places, is full of fuzz-guitarwork with 60's garage & british invasion influences and low-budget production (think of BOA or Shadrack Chameleon albums) while a couple of songs have a wild and underground approach to rural rock. This album exists in a time warp. It’s from the midst of the first punk era, but sounds genuinely 60s garage the way no neo-garage band ever did. The fuzz guitars are everpresent, and the songs are pure garage pop and garage rock, rocking hard without ever sounding remotely “hard rock.” The sound is as cheap as can be, which only accentuates the coolness of the fuzz. Despite some awkward singing, there are a lot of catchy melodies here, and I can imagine that Baltimorians who discovered “Nuggets” in the late 70s went nuts over this band. A few songs flirt with rural rock, but basically it’s teen-sounding angst, just as cool as their punk peers. [AM] Taken from the Acid Archives First ever official reissue, fully licenced by Danny Amburn and the band. Exact reproduction for the cover and labels. It includes extra 4-pages laminated insert with bio, lyrics and photos. 

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