The Electric Prunes - The Electric Prunes

The Electric Prunes – The Electric Prunes

A classic debut that featured freaked-out, fuzz-drenched introduction and Lowe’s snarling vocals narrating a psychedelic nightmarethat numerous Electric Prunes fans empathized with.

The perfect distillation of garage-punk posturing and and acid-derived excess. Their in-your-face attitude, unsubtle hints at the joys of chemically induced mind expansion, and knack for sticky pop hooks made The Electric Prunes one of the ripest bands in all garage-psychdom. As the liner notes on the reverse cover of ‘I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night’ read: “The lyrics, the melody, and the rhythm find their way into the inward places of the soul on which they mightily fasten. Come forth, Electric Prunes, and move from the shallows and venture forth into the deep.”

The Electric Prunes’ self-titled debut (with “I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)” and “Get Me to the World on Time” acting as a subtitle on the front sleeve, though not on the LP spine) was an interesting but way-erratic psychedelic album. The two aforementioned hits led off sides one and two respectively, and were easily the highlights of a set that boasted continuously imaginative production, but inconsistent songwriting. There were some tracks that proved the group were more than two-hit wonders. The group original “Train for Tomorrow,” for instance, had the edgy melody and atmosphere typical of several Tucker-Mantz compositions of the time, unexpectedly ending with a jazz guitar coda; the nutty “Sold to the Highest Bidder” boasted a futuristic sped-up guitar that sounded like a berserk balalaika; and “Try Me on for Size” was a psych-punked-out Paul Revere and the Raiders.

On the downside, there were some positively frightful quasi-psychedelic vaudevillian fairytale tunes; it is hard to believe the same songwriting team that gifted us with “Get Me to the World on Time” was also responsible for “Tunerville Trolley” and “About a Quarter to Nine.” Part of the problem was that the group’s identity was so subject to the material and production bestowed upon them by outside songwriter and producers, as the band themselves wrote only two of the tracks. There’s about two-thirds of a good album here, though, chock-full of intriguing and sometimes wacky reverberation and guitar effects. As the throbbing buzz of Ken Williams‘ tremolo-laden fuzztone guitar creeps from one side of the stereo spectrum to the other, you begin to realize why these guys were considered the first and finest echelon of American garage bands of the ’60s.