steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
info opinion


"Iota" CD reissue

Shadoks Music

Genres: heavy psych, psych rock, psychedelic sixties

Normal Records
PO Box 150 117
53040 Bonn

Jul 28 - Aug 3 2003

Here comes another fine psychedelic reissue from German label Shadoks Music. Iota was an El Paso band formed in the late sixties; their style was hard psych, and commercial radio stations wouldn't play their singles because they were deemed too dark. In fact, their entire public output consists of two 45s; the rest of the ten tracks on this Shadoks collection are previously unreleased.

As per the usual, psych fans will not want to pass on this record. A true artifact of the legendary Texas acid rock scene, Iota is filled with ten crisply-recorded, infectious songs. The music isn't particularly different from that of other bands of the time (Iron Butterfly and the 13th Floor Elevators come to mind), heavier than The Pretty Things but not as strong as the likes of Blue Cheer. Their gimmick is that their music had organ in it, a rarity at the time.

The main attraction on Iota is the band's best single, "Precincts" (originally titled "Within These Precincts"). It is a real psych nugget, a dark and gloomy track featuring partially spoken vocals, a great guitarline and epic strings in the background. Other highlights include smoky acid rock in the form of "Glympses," the overtly melodic "Sing For You", and an out-of-place British Invasion-style number called "Our Love So Warm."

All in all, Iota isn't an essential psychedelic reissue, but a dang nice one to have. If you dig melodic heavy psych, this El Paso artifact will make a great listen.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 10 tracks, distributed by Forced Exposure, released 2003]