The Head Shop – The Head Shop (1969/2020) [FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

The Head Shop – The Head Shop (1969/2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 31:46 minutes | 747 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front cover | © Epic – Legacy

The Head Shop is one of those horribly out of print oddities that it’s practically impossible to find information on. My basic impressions are that I can’t really tell if this was a legitimate band, or one of those psychedelic exploitation albums. Basically, the playing is very much along the exploitative lines; my wife doesn’t know much about psych but she pointed out that this music reminded her of The Zodiac’s Cosmic Sounds. Still, there’s a touch more of weird inspiration than the bulk of exploitation albums have. For some reason, a lot of this album also makes me think of the music from Jesus Christ Superstar – especially around the middle with tracks like “Listen With A Third Ear” and “Opera In The Year 4000.”

The best tracks here come near the beginning. “The Head Shop” is sort of a theme song for the scraggly remains of those who had tuned in and completely dropped out by 1969. A mirror universe Monkees’ theme if you will. “Heaven Here We Come” is a nice mid-tempo heavy psych rocker, which also sounds like an outtake from the aforementioned Jesus Christ Superstar (I’m pretty familiar with that one as I joined a production of that musical a few years ago rockin’ the cello down in the orchestra pit). At the end we find a few pretty wild and freaked out sounds with the total exploitation piece “Prophecy” and the echoing squealing sound effects of “Infinity.”

Unfortunately, a good half of this album sort of just patrols the line between psych rock and proto-heavy metal. There’s nothing embarrassing, but also not a lot to make me sit up and give these guys my full attention. The sound quality is a little iffy, but this may not be the band’s fault as all I’ve got are ripped from vinyl MP3s that may have gotten a little distorted in the transfer process. STill, I’m not holding my breath for a remastered reissue.

For you psych rock junkies, there’s more than enough here to warrant a spin or two. In fact, there very well may be a track or two here perfect for a homemade compilation (especially the first and last tracks), but I doubt the sounds of the Head Shop will stick with you for the long run.

01. Head Shop (3:04)
02. Heaven Here We Come (2:48)
03. Sunny (3:17)
04. Listen with a Third Ear (2:38)
05. Opera In the Year 4000 (Where Have All the People Gone / Yesterday) (4:27)
06. Revolution (2:32)
07. I Feel Love Comin’ On (5:52)
08. Prophecy (2:19)
09. Infinity (4:51)