Blue Cheer

I dunno about you, but today feels like a day that needs to be cut up with some blunt-edged guitar riffage and diced with some unadorned percussion truckin' along to abused, ravaged vocals. Today feels like a Blue Cheer day.

San Francisco group that was formed in '67 and split in '71, though they got back together a number of times after. Their debut, Vincebus Eruptum, from '68, was all fuzzy, primal, blues-rooted psych-rock, its sheer loudness and twisted menace made particularly jarring by the instrumentally-minimalist approach: the half-hour-long six-tracker was realized solely with a bare-bones kit, a bullish guitar, and a thuggish bass.

What they lacked in technical adeptness and ambition they made up for in brawny, gut-punchy grit and bite, and a certain patience and sense of balance that's felt viscerally, instinctually.

Their full-length from '71 marked a bit of a shift in style—it's folkier, committed to hummable hooks, and instrumentally intricate (there's organ, there's synth, there's sitar)—and personnel (by then, Randy Holden, of garage-rock outfit the Other Half, had joined), but it holds up.