Forge Your Own Chains: Heavy Psychedelic Ballads and Dirges 1968-1974
Alternative · 2009
Editors’ NotesForge Your Own Chains: Heavy Psychedelic Ballads and Dirges 1968 -1974 delivers an awesome yield of vinyl-hound gems starting with Top Drawer’s “Song of a Sinner” which makes good on the compilation’s title. It's an epic ballad unleashing all kinds of mind-melting acid-rock guitar leads, droning organs and lovelorn crooning. D.R. Hooker’s title-track “Forge Your Own Chains” hinges on a hybrid of blues-rock and electric folk garnished with some jazzy horn arrangements, while “Strawberry Rain” by Ellison and Morly Grey flirts with the kind of hard psych often categorized as proto-metal. The collection shines brightest when spotlighting overseas gems like South Korea’s Shin Jung Hyun and the Men whose "Twilight” plays with an endearing melodrama. Similarly, Lagos’ Ofege kick out some well-affected Brit-psyche with “It’s Not Easy” sounding like a cross between “Hey Jude” and “Dear Mr. Fantasy.” Iranian tripper Kourosh Yaghmaei gets into some stormy psychedelia with "Hajm-e Khaali," though it’s Swedish trio Baby Grandmothers who bestow the shiniest jewel here with “Somebody Keeps Calling My Name,” a lysergic jam that sounds like a blueprint for Dungen.