WCPAEB, Vol. II

Band: West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band

Album: Vol. II

Some psychedelia doesn’t age as well as others; thankfully, this is not one of those albums.

Produced around 1967, a strong mix of folk, blues, rock and a little jazz temper the ‘peace and love’ twaddle that infests much of the music of that particular era (surprisingly, this album isn’t considered the group’s strongest effort; for that, one has to root for the harder-to-find follow-up, A Child’s Guide to Good and Evil.)

That’s not to say there aren’t songs that have that ‘psychedelic’ edge to them; Smell of Incense on Side One sends one back to a day of sitting cross-legged on the floor in your favourite Nehru vest, groovin’ to the disc on the turntable.

The competent vocal work is more than made up by thoughtful lyrics, powerful guitar and drumwork, and innovative musical turns (Delicate Fawn features a tuba, banjo, and what sounds like bagpipes).

The band itself produced three outstanding albums, and mysteriously flared out after turning in what’s regarded as a weak effort for its fourth release. Little is known of the band’s idiosyncratic leader, Bob Markley; while the rest of the group went on to relatively successful careers in the music business, Markley – a lawyer by training with a trust fund in the millions – drifted in and out of society, and is either thought to be dead or in a mental institution.