Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Arkham Sound

In the late 60's Arkham, Massachusetts produced a variety of interesting groups, and evolved what eventually became known as the "Arkham Sound". Though overshadowed by the much-hyped "Bosstown Sound" from relatively nearby Boston, fans and scholars of the era believe the Arkham Sound to be far more organic and unique, noted for its dark overtones and rich lyricism. Though bands such as The Conqueror Wyrms and The Plasma Miasma even charted regionally, oddly few of these tracks have appeared on previous reissues or comps, with the exception of course of "Come to Arkham (Wear the Wind in Your Hair)" which is ubiquitous on budget oldies compilations. To the best of my knowledge, other than cuts on later volumes of the "Psychotic Moose and the Soul Searchers" series, which are beyond rare, none of these tracks have appeared elsewhere.

Now Dark Lord Rob, formerly of late 80's garage/psych band The Not Quite, has done the world an enormous favor by assembling a complilation of some of these forgotten tracks in conjunction with the imminent release of The Miskatonic Acid Test, a documentary film he has assembled from recently rediscovered vintage footage. Combining album tracks, rare singles, and choice live tracks from the movie's soundtrack, this collection gives a fine overview of the era and makes one wonder why more of this material hasn't surfaced. It almost makes you wonder whether there was something to those old record collector tales of the music being "cursed".

Just when you thought Darkest of the Hillside Thickets was the only punk-inflected Mythos-rock group going. I stumbled across this today. Great Lovecraftian garage rock. There's a three-CD soundtrack; the first disc is available for free download here.
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