Maximum Freakbeat (Past and Present Records)

Freakbeat is a tricky genre to describe, but here it goes: British groups active from early-1965 until early-1967, that pushed past blues and r&b influences into what would eventually become psychedelia. It was a fruitful period which left behind a treasure trove of great songs marrying pop sensibilities and sonic experimentation – think Revolver, Face To Face, Between The Buttons, Roger The Engineer and My Generation and you’ll get the idea.

Maximum Freakbeat collects twenty-one lesser examples of the style, ranging from the Who-like feedback ‘n’ mayhem of The Lee Kings’ “On My Way” (produced by three members of The Hollies) to North London group The Truth ripping through Donovan’s “Hey Gyp (Dig The Slowness)” complete with Yardbirds-esque rave-up. My only complaint is with the tracklisting, which duplicates seven songs with the Nuggets II box-set, making 1/3 of the disc redundant to people who own both (and it’s likely anyone interested in Maximum Freakbeat already has the Nuggets discs). I can give the benefit of the doubt here since this is technically a reissue of a compilation which came out in 1998, predating the Nuggets II box, and because those seven songs are all great, but I would have preferred a full disc of fresh material.