“Andergraun Vibrations 3” LP (Hundergrum Records 3003)
As with its punk and hardcore, Spain’s late 60s and 70s hard rock and psych has lately been garnering greater attention outside its borders among the collector cognoscenti. The previous two volumes of “Andergraun Vibrations” were handsomely produced eye-openers to records few outside Spain would ever have heard otherwise. This volume is no different, but its purview seems stretched a bit wider than the typical long-haired flower-power sound, to include what might otherwise be considered garage punk along with general weirdness that would fit in with the outliers of the US Acid Archives sound. The highlights of this volume are surely three tracks in a row on the A side, by Los Crich, Prou-Matic, and Vibracion. These records are among the rarest from Spain. (Flexis? Check. Two known copies? Check.) Los Crich, based in the Canary Islands for a time, represents the garage end of the spectrum. “All Strung Out Over You” definitely sounds like it came out after the psych explosion, but for anyone who isn’t a purist, this is no criticism. Prou-Matic defies categorization, but it is overbrimming with enthusiasm and ineptitude. The drum solo must be heard to be believed. Finally, Vibración—collectors’ love comes in spurts for this sort of thing. It’s shit-fi to the max. Crude, raw, strange, out of tune…it has it all. The late Velvet Underground comparison in the liner notes is not an exaggeration, but these dudes were clearly thousands of miles, in mindset as well as geography, from Warhol’s lower Manhattan. Worth the price of admission for sure. (Check S-F radio to hear this track.) My only (needling) criticism of this nearly flawless compilation, which includes an incredible bilingual booklet insert, is that fonts on the labels and sleeve are impossible to read: psychedelic fatsos meet corpse-painted black-metal dorks using freefonts.com personal ads.