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THE STRAWBERRY JAM is a rather fresh UK band and this album is their debut from 2007, but you can only tell this from the rather clear basic sound. The first three songs have a quite earthy feel and go from utterly cool country garage rock hybrids to proto-punkish eruptions, all in the first ten minutes. You are tempted to put a label on this band right away, filed under garage rock music due to its lovely late 60s feeling. There is a savage lead guitar on the first few songs, making them a great joy to listen to. However, there is much more to discover. “Alice D”, “I Like You The Most” and “Alice D Reprise” take the turn from the down-to-earth, fuzzed-out US garage rock to a rather British psychedelic pop with a slightly giddy expression. You could find this kind of stuff on some early records from the London Underground and Canterbury Scene. The more laid back and folkish psychedelic sound and the weird humorous pieces stay with us for a while until THE STRAWBERRY JAM find themselves slipping through a time hole which leads from early 1967 to the summer of 1969. “I Don’t Want To Make You Mine” is a straight blues rock stomper with a typical British blues approach you would expect to hear from bands such as SAVOY BROWN or TEN YEARS AFTER. Some more beautiful hippie folk follows in its veins and an epic psychedelic pop tune ends a very colourful and captivating album. You know and hear that it is a modern day effort since this bandwidth of styles and sounds would have been a bit too far out for an original sixties audience. The step back from 1969 to 1968 on the last two tracks is definitely a great choice. The closing track "Dragon Seed" is a laid back epic with ever drifting rhythmic pulsations and a wicked swirl of sounds which, by its end, gets you lifted above all that people consider reality and frees your mind. A few moments of free form experiments close this retrospective but joyful album. From THE SEEDS to THE MC 5 to THE BEATLES to TOMORROW and TWINK and more... you'll find it all in here! This is a great soundtrack for a summer trip!
Red vinyl, spined sleeve