This is the 13th Floor Elevators debut album and it was released in 1966. 13FE have released a total of four albums (not including live recordings) and this is unfortunately the only album of theres that I own. I'm not a huge psychadelic fan, I listen to the genre a little bit, and I am no expert on psychadelic music. I own about 10 psychadelic albums and this ranks near the top. This is a great album to start out with if you're new to the psychadelic genre, the album is simple in some parts and then after you listen to it a few more times you discover different things. Although this isn't an amazing psychadelic album, it sure is a good one.
This was one of the first psychadelic albums released in the mid 1960's. While the 13FE didn't invent the psychadelic genre, this was one of the first psychadelic albums. This album can be dark, moody, eerie, uplifting, hypnotic, and intense. When I first listened to this album I thought it was just alright. It was hard to get into the first time I listened to it, but after maybe one or two listens I started enjoying the album more. A lot of these songs can be simple, but at the same time complex and deep. 13FE can combine catchy melodies with dark deep lyrics and vocals. This creates a fusion of psychadelic fun. This album is very eerie and haunting. Songs like "Roller Coaster" and "Don't Fall Down" are haunting, paranoid, and hypnotic. This music is really scary, it is just expiremental and eerie at some points. Not to mention that this music is very catchy and you will be singing along instantly once you get used to the eerie, haunting feel.
Roky Erickson's vocals are eerie, haunting, and expiremental. Most of the time he sounds like an angry man on speed. His vocals can be paranoid and when he wails into the microphone he sounds like he is a crazy man coming after you. When he whisperes he sounds like he is out to get someone, basically he sounds paranoid. Roky's vocals are a highlight of the album, they are very strong and unsettling. His vocals mix very well with the psychadelic fusion and Roky is what makes this album so memorable. Sometimes he even reminds me of the great Syd Barret. Roky's vocals will not scare you away from the music, they will intrigue you and make you stay and listen to the album. Roky's vocals are a key highlight of this album.
This album is textured with a lot of different sounds and there is a lot of noise going on. Sometimes the textured songs are amazing and with Roky's vocals some of these songs are classics. Other times the fuzziness can be to overwhelming and make some of these songs awfully hard to listen to. The sound of this album captures you and makes you want more. Once you listen to "You're Gonna Miss Me" there is no putting this album down. The 13FE mind warp you and take you to another place. With the great fuzzy, trippy, textures songs mixed with Roky's haunting vocals make you come back time after time to listen to this album. The 13FE have sort of an odd sound. It is fuzzy and layered with guitar and bass playing, nothing is really clear when you listen to this. The production of this album is great, but everything seems sort of blurry. While this is good in some ways, it can hurt the album in others.
This album is dark, fast-paced, hypnotic, and intense. Although fast-paced and hypnotic don't go together this album is mostly hypnotic, but in a few tracks the 13FE pick up the pace. The instruments make sort of an odd, dark sound and mixed in with Roky's vocals this album is dark, and atmospheric. This album isn't horrifying or scary, it is just a little bit unsettling and haunting. This is not an ambient album, although there are a few moments of dreariness, this album is not ambient. I'm sure the question is going to be asked "Can this music be enjoyed without chemical inhancement?" The answer is yes. I can enjoy this album without drugs, even though it is trippy and very psychadelic. This isn't a soft psychadelic album. 13FE throw in some slight pop/rock influences to give this album more of a rock or pop psychadelic feel. If you are looking for a pop or rock album you could give this album a chance, but this is mainly for psychadelic fans only. I especially like this cd because it is accessible, once again the slight pop/rock influences will give the music a more playful sound. Even though this isn't a rock album, it may satisfy casual rock/pop and psychadelic listeners.
Overall I would say that this is an excellent psychadelic album. This is a good place to start if you are new to psychadelic music, and if you're a fan of this genre than what are you waiting for? Don't be scared when I say this is a dark, it isn't that instense and even if you like more playful or upbeat albums this should still satisfy you. The vocals are a key highlight, and blended in with the fuzzy instruments this album is a key psychadelic album for any collection. I don't have much knowledge over the psychadelica genre, but from what I know this is a great album. 13FE debut album should not disappoint those with high expectations. Once again this is an excellent psychadelic album that any fan of psychadelic music should enjoy.
Overall Rating : 4/5
Album Art : http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0000A5A20.01._SCTZZZZZZZ_.jpg
Great haunting psychadelic music
Sometimes the fuzzy instruments don't mix well
A few weak tracks
Recommended Tracks :
"Don't Fall Down"