Written by 7:00 am Audiophile, Audiophile Music

Craft Recordings’ Double Whammy! Rocks Record Store Day

Mark Smotroff appreciates when one whammy is not enough…


AR-DoubleWhammyColoredVinyl450.jpgCraft Recordings has been not only coming up to the plate a lot lately for Record Store Day, but they’ve also been hitting a number of home runs! If you missed my recent preview-review of the much sought after rock collector’s grail Parish Hall click here. Or, if you didn’t hear about the the fun-tabulous White Whale Records rare singles collection The Land Of Sensations & Delights click here

Stepping up their game even further into rare garage rock, Double Whammy! showcases classic tracks from the vaults of Stax, Original Sound, Vanguard and Fantasy Records. Being released this weekend for Record Store Day, the single disc album is a follow on to 2019’s Poppies: Assorted Finery From the First Psychedelic Age.

AR-JackBedient450.jpgDouble Whammy! explores America’s street-level gut-instinct response to the British Invasion which came to the airwaves and clubs in the form of hundreds of regional bands with little formal training nor the fancy big label production budgets. Yet all were vying for the same seemingly reachable radio play and a shot at overnight sensation fame. This collection focuses on the period between 1965 and 1968 with many genuinely killer tracks by The Music Machine, The Vagrants and Count Five. You’ll also hear several lesser-known bands like The Pullice, The Tear and Jack Bedient and The Chessmen and . 

Pressed on limited-edition (2,800 copies globally!) translucent blue vinyl for Record Store Day in a nifty foil-wrapped jacket, the package includes liner notes from GRAMMY®-nominated writer-producer Alec Palao. The preview sample I received is well centered and perfectly quiet.

AR-MusicMachine450.jpgAlso, the music throughout this album sounds remarkably warm leading me to think that they got their hands on the best possible source material for this collection and put some solid effort into mastering. It sounds pretty authentic, like a record might have sounded in 1965-68. In other words, it doesn’t sound harsh or feel remotely digital (though I don’t know if it is or isn’t) so kudos mastering engineer Joe Tarantino as well as George Horn and Ann-Marie Suenram who cut the lacquers (ie. the physical disc mastering)

Among my favorites so far on are the unedited version of Count Five’s “Psychotic Reaction” and The Pullice’s “Can’t Get Enough,” the latter of which feels like a cross between Paul Revere & The Raiders and The 13th Floor Elevators.

AR-DoubleWhammySilver450.jpgTwo other previously unreleased tracks include Lonnie Duvall’s “Attention” and The Music Machine’s “The People In Me” (full-length version).

Double Whammy! comes housed in a super nifty silver foil cover that is as sparkly as the music within. The album comes with a nice album-sized four page booklet with  liner notes that is chockfull of information on all the artists including rare photos.  

If you are out on Record Store Day this weekend and are a fan of rare garage and proto psychedelic rock from the 60s,  Double Whammy! is one you should grab if you see it. 

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