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Slip Inside This House: MP3s from the Clique, the Cicadelics and the Blox

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The Clique, “Splash 1”

How massive was the influence of the Thirteenth Floor Elevators on Texas musicians back in the day? Big enough that many groups tried adding their own electric jug player, and every single one was a dud (at best).

Other groups like the Clique settled for covering some of the Elevators’ finer material like “Splash 1.”After the demise of the band Lavender Hour, the majority of its members reformatted their sound from pop/garage/punk outfit to an assortment of late-‘60s psychedelia. They went on to record a slew of singles and one album for the White Whale label in the very early ‘70s; none of which, unfortunately, were as good.

I would like to hate this group for writing the song “Superman,” of which, unbeknownst to them, R.E.M. went on to record a dreadful cover on 1986’s Life’s Rich Pageant. But the fact remains that on “Splash 1,” the Clique managed to do the Elevators justice where everyone else’s attempts fell flat on their faces. The song was released on the local Cinema and then Wand labels, followed by a national release on Scepter – none of which garnered much attention.

The Cicadelics, "We’re Gonna Love This Way"

Those crafty bands of the ‘60s – such cunning names and questionable usage of spelling! Maybe the Cicadelics had problems in the spelling department because they were from Angleton.

Only kidding. I love Angleton – or any other town, for the matter, that can produce such a rudimentary fuzz masterpiece, even if the name of the label (Psychidelic Sound) is spelled almost as strangely. (A tribute of sorts to the Thirteenth Floor Elevators’ The Psychedelic Sounds of… album, perhaps?)

I can only imagine this was a couple of extremely talented teenagers who didn’t have much better to do in Angleton than hone their psychedelic skills and, thankfully, record this one very fine single.

Photo by Chris Gray, at Sugar Hill Studios

The Blox, “Say Those Magic Words”

The great hope of Fred Carroll, one of Houston music’s most calculating shot-callers, the Blox mustered up two 45s on his Solar label. Carroll, who produced the group, was the mastermind and original proprietor of Houston’s finest contribution to psychedelic and garage rock, the International Artists label.

Carroll later sold the label to Lelan Rogers, brother to one “Gambler” whose first name happened to be Kenny. Rumor has it, though unconfirmed, that the Blox recorded a couple of cuts on International Artists that were never released. The Blox featured a young bassist named Ray Turner, who went on to help form another fine Houston act, Josefus.

Know anything else about these groups? Send me an email or leave a comment below. - Brett Koshkin

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