Text: Daniel Salas
In the sixties when garage bands were booming all over the world, a lot of bands adapted to their regional sounds and were influenced by their surroundings. Whether it was the heavy frat rock sound of the Pacific Northwest, the London Mod scene or the overdrive psych affair of the Texas bands, noisy garage rock groups were infiltrating the world in small armies after the successful British Invasion. What started sprouting after the rock and roll wave of the 50s and the heavy influence of Eddie Cochran and Bill Haley and his Comets, finally came into full bloom when a certain band got all the right ingredients into one mixing bowl; the look, the sound and the screaming girls, the damn Beatles. After the successful magical pop perfection of the Beatles, bands wanted to create their own imaginary world out of their own scruffy sounds.
When it comes to good 60s psychedelic garage bands, The Seeds come out on the top of the list. A lot of the 60s garage bands across the US looking back seem a little tamer than what was going on in California garage scene. Was it the local Kool Aid? Probably. California bands had some of the most unique and unusual experimental rock bands because there was so much competition; everyone had to have their individual angle. While on their self-titled debut The Seeds leaned more towards the standard garage sound, their second album A Web of Sound is a full-blown acid trip of psychedelia.
Straight out of the Los Angeles, Ca, The Seeds were a dominating group in the famous Sunset Strip scene of the 60s. The opening track “Mr. Farmer” was released as a single but didn’t make the top 40, but is now a flower power classic and garage standard. The song makes appearances on various compilations, most notably on the Nuggets collection of rare 60s tracks. It might not have made it in the charts because of the lyric content of the weirdo eccentric singer Sky “Sunlight” Saxon. The very west coast hippy lyrics talk about how he wants to be a farmer and how his seeds are starting to grow like a big stalk into the sky. Saxon painted a picture through his lyrics and took you on a trip on his lysergic airplane into the Technicolor west coast hippy dream.
The Seeds sound was centered on the simple single note melodies of the organ played by Daryl Hopper. Almost in a childlike fashion, the organ melodies were groovy and catchy, reminiscent of a sound popularized by Chicano rockers ? And the Mysterians on their hit “96 Tears.” Songs on this album include “Pictures and Designs,” “Tripmaker,” “Rollin’ Machine” and “Let Go,” which all have references to what was big at the time in the west coast underground.
Although The Seeds never had chart success, their influence on the music scene has grown over the decades. Overall the album is a heavy organ psych rocker. The album closes out with the 14-minute track entitled “Up in Her Room,” one final jam session where Saxon rants about drugs and sex, gradually peaking and then enwraps your senses into their Web of Sound.