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April 17, 2024

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Rare & Unissued Blasts from the Vaults of Kearney Barton Volumes 1-3 (Norton Records)

By: Alex Steininger

If you're a fan of garage rock, especially garage rocks straight from the vaults of the rare and collectible, Norton Records should be a label you're hip to. If not, than you're really not a fan of garage rock.

Continuing with their trend of releasing only the best in historic archival material is three discs, all part of a series highlighting rare & unissued blasts from the vaults of Kearney Barton. Volume 1 is entitled Stomp! Northwest Killers 1960-64, volume 2 is Shout! Northwest Killers 1964-65, and volume 3's name is Shout! Northwest Killers 1965-66.

Each album contains the best in early rock 'n' roll that helped change the world and shape the face of popular music. Volume 1 includes Little Bill with The Adventurers doing "Louie Louie," the most popular song in rock. Volume 2's rendition is handled by The Nomads. And volume three is lacking "Louie Louie."

Each disc showcases the style of garage at the time. Even a year does much to change the sound. Listen as the styles get more abrasive, faster, and more party-oriented. Listen as the hips shake even more, as the band gets ever crazier, and as the songs get even sweatier, calling for you to get even closer to your dance partner and make love to the music.

The Frantics, Adventurers, Artesians, and the Imperials make volume 1 a great kick off. Volume 2 is supported by the likes of Incredible Kings, Elegants, Legends, Canadian VIPS, Woody Carr and The El Caminos, Imperials, and the Nomads, to name a handful. Then there is volume 3, the disc that puts the closing touches on the series, and really sets fire to the sound. The Hustlers, Rocky and His Friends, Plymouth Rockers, and Castells, to name a few, burn holes in their guitars as the kids burn holes in their dancing shoes.

A historic must for fans of rock 'n' roll and garage rock, these three discs showcase the sound as it develops, tracing the roots and listening as it blossoms and becomes the wildest sound to ever be put to tape. I'll give each album an A+.

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