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Fuzz Acid & Flowers:
The Litter came from Minneapolis, Minnesota and recorded two of America's finest psychedelic punk albums. Distortions and $100 Fine are both strongly recommended. Distortions contained high energy psychedelic rock versions of many classic songs. ... Play it Loud! Feedback appears to have been one of the main weapons in their repertoire, and it is seldom used more effectively than on the aforementioned track. Also on the album are fine versions of Cream's I'm So Glad, The Small Faces' classic Whatcha Gonna Do 'Bout It, The Who's Substitute and A Legal Matter, Spencer Davis' Somebody Help Me, The Yardbirds' Wrack My Mind, Warren Kendrick's Soul Searchin' and Buffy St. Marie's much recorded Codine. Strandlof played lead on Action Woman, A Legal Matter, and Soul Searchin' but his attempts to steer the band in a folk-rock direction caused friction with Kane who wanted the band to become heavier. In the spring of 1967, he was replaced by Zippy Caplan, freshly back from a sojourn in California.
By their next effort $100 Fine the group were writing much of their own material. For this reason $100 Fine is probably the better album. Opening track Mindbreaker features fine fuzztone guitar work and culminates in a psychedelic haze. Their driving electric guitar work is well represented in tracks like Tallyman, Here I Go Again has a catchy guitar riff intro. More vintage psychedelic guitar work is evident on Morning Sun and (Under The Screaming Double) Eagle. The side culminates with a piece of psychedelic nonsense Apologies To 2069, which ends with the intro to Action Woman - a track on their first album. However, the stand-out track is the aptly named Kaleidoscope on side two, featuring an early use of 'phasing'. The remainder of this side is comprised of an impressive extended version of The Zombies' She's Not There and the self-explanatory Blues One. If you ever get the chance to hear either of these two albums, take it!
Bad management decisions hampered the band's progress during 1968. Both Elektra and Columbia made offers to the band but were knocked back because of heavy touring commitments. In August 1968 they recorded numbers for the film 'Medium Cool' but only made about 20 seconds of the final cut with the Mothers Of Invention overdubbed over them. Soon after Waite (who was burnt-out) and Caplan (who formed White Lightning and then Lightning) dropped out of the band.
1969 saw the group sign to a major record company (ABC) for a third album - a good hard rock effort that suffers only by comparison to the first two. Denny Waite had also departed and his place was taken by Mark Gallagher who'd previously been with The Troys.
Despite the band's legendary status there has often been confusion and misspeculation surrounding them and the other artistes under Warren Kendrick's guidance. The Electras/Twas Brillig outfit must be fed up by the constant claims that they were a Litter offshoot since they'd been around for some years beforehand - see their entry for details. This confusion was due to them also being under Warren Kendrick's wing apart from the fact they also recorded Kendrick's Action Woman and Soul Searchin' . No wonder the two outfits sounded similar. The confusion was aggravated by Eva's compilation, Litter. - Rare Tracks, which would have better been entitled 'The Best Of The Rest Of Warren Kendrick'. It features Litter's She's Not There (short version), On Our Minds, Little Red Book, Ungrateful Pig and Substitute; Electras/Twas Brillig's Dirty Old Man, You Love, This Week's Children and Soul Searchin'; White Lightning's William and Of Paupers And Poets; Zoser's Together and Dark Of The Morning and Second Edition's To Keep You.
Denny Waite and Jim Kane had been in another Kendrick-produced group, The Victors, prior to The Litter. Five unreleased The Victors tracks have recently been aired on the Get Hip album Electras vs. Scotsmen/Victors, which was released in 1993, and repeated on The Scotty Story CD. ... ~ (Vernon Joynson / Max Waller / Lloyd Peasley)