Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Swamp Rats "Psycho" (St. Claire, 1966)
Get your enjoys, Jonathan Toubin Soul Proprietor, New York Night Train

originally published Published on Apr 21, 2017
Since the NY Night Train is off to Pittsburgh tomorrow I figured I'd throw a Swamp Rats platter up here... Swamp Rats are of course one of the most exciting garage bands ever and this track is a bonafide classic that I initially learned from Crypt Records' canonical first volume of "Back From The Grave." Its hard to imagine a worthy cover of The Sonic's "Psycho," but, like the "Louie Louie" on their debut 45, Swamp Rats make it their own with unprecedented speed and brutality. "Psycho," like another one of my other favorite Swamp Rats' spins, a snarling stab at The Sparkles' "No Friend Of Mine," is a contemporary standard that was far from an obvious cover choice in its time. Pittsburgh however was one of the only markets outside of Washington state where The Sonics both charted (and visited!) - due in no small part to the advocacy of tastemaking DJ god Mad Mike Metrovich and his inclusion of "Psycho" on his "More Mad Mike Moldies Volume 4" LP. The entire thing is perfect but stick around for the experimental backwards explosion at the end is the cherry on top and makes this one of the more unique sides of its time!

Like The Monkees, The Sex Pistols, and other earthshattering acts, The Swamp Rats were a prefabricated band. Formed from the ashes of McKeesport, PA's amazing teen trio The Fantastic Dee Jays, WMCK DJ Terry Lee put the group together. He explains, “There was no actual "band'...the Swamp Rats was a group of people that I put together to make records and do live shows at my dances. The group slowly started to change. As it changed, there were personality conflicts, members left, members returned, and new members were added. It was like a revolving door. The Swamp Rats consisted of over 12 people at various times..."

Pittsburgh Music History pittsburghmusichistory/pittsburgh-music-story/rock/the-swap-rats

graphics by AVI SPIVAK (http://www.avispivak.com)!

You're listening to the daily addition to the New York Night Train Party Platter playlist. Each track here is recorded directly from my original 45s (no bootlegs, reproductions, etc) to give you an idea of what the real deal authentic vinyl I turn at my parties sounds like. COME BACK EVERY DAY FOR A NEW FIX! Because the records pass so quickly on the dance floor, this channel is an attempt to stop and focus on one record at a time in hopes to personally learn more about each one and at the same time turn you on to the artists, tracks, labels, etc. I'm just hipping myself to a lot of these records for the first time as well - so you can view this as our journey into learning more about cool old records together! But above all else I hope this music moves you as much as it moves me.

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