Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Index 'Black Album + Red Album + Yesterday & Today'

Beacons of psychedelia The Index's records 'Black Album' and 'Red Album' have been rescued by Lion Productions. Initially released in 1967 and 1968 respectively, the albums were simply titled after the colour of the label on the LP. Both records at the time were pressed in editions of a meager 150, making the originals current value rival the sum of third world debt. Now each of the albums, and a little extra, are available again! The show stopper in the set is the third disc 'Yesterday & Today' compiling previously unreleased tracks taken from original tapes.

This reissue was my introduction to a band that has, upon doing some research, had music fiends freaking out for the past four decades. The Index's bleak, home-made psychedelia paints a picture of some guys in a desolate part of town making music in a dingy basement somewhere. Curiously though, the group were based in a more affluent part of Michigan, Grosse Point. A 32 page booklet written by the bands' drummer Jim Valice tells their story in detail with liner notes, photos and lyrics. Laden with feedback, fuzzed out guitars and murky drones this set covers music which predates so many later, great bands and musical styles. In some places you can hear a Post-Punk attitude, at other times especially on track 'Fire Eyes' artists' like Tommy Jay come to mind. Never before has this music been available to the masses, and Lion Productions has gone ahead and made hitting your psychedelia pleasure centres as easy as buying a CD.

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