The Return Of The Pennsylvanians
Bona Fide 16724-66 USA 1983
"The front cover states "14 Prime Cuts - No Fillers," but don't believe it. Despite some indispensable classics, this compilation is an overall disappointment. Why Bona Fide chose to release the Loose Enz' previously unreleased "Mister You're A Better Man Than I" (it should have been left in the vault, locked securely) and include the Kindred Spirit's "Blue Avenue" (from 1969!) instead of any of dozens of other singles s beyond me. The Centurys' "Hard Times," and "And I Cried" (check out their fab '65 demos, alos on Bona Fide), plus a couple of others, make this record worth buying, but it is hardly a fair representation of what the state of Pennsylvania had to offer in the mid-sixties.
If you buy this record please heed my warning: there is a photo of Kindred Spirit on the back cover - don't look directly at it!"
- Ray Brandes (Originally published in Ugly Things #3, 1984)
Back From The Grave had been released when mr. Brandes wrote this review. I don't think one should, or could for that matter, underestimate the impact mr. Warren's new standard had set.
Pebbles were getting boring, AIP were pumping out sub-standard comps that left a lot to be desired audio-wise. A myriad of comps and re-releases were raining down on the ever-famined garage fiends.
A lot was shit, or pressed on crap vinyl, or just plain boring.
In those days you could actually make a quick buck putting out a comp like this, so some of these old comps carry a certain scent of a quick-buck-made.
But 33 years can work wonders and it is hard not to get charmed by this little album. It can't hold a candle to other comps released in 1983 when it comes to "killers" but.. what can I say.. it breathes. It's not action-packed. And I mean that in a good way. Sometimes you just want to slap on something and don't go into instant party-mode. And it wasn't (then anyway) full of repeats.
I saw someone whining about the artwork - aaaah, stop that shit! The artwork is fantastic! I wish more comps looked like this. Fuck all those computer covers everyone does nowadays. I've even blasted myself for all my impotent covers because this is how a cover should look like!
Do I have any negative criticism? Naaah.. A lot of these tracks are somewhat forgettable - sure. But that don't mean they're bad! What more can I say...? If you're new to the scene you might find it hard to get into it. You shouldn't start here.
God I'm rambling. You can tell that it's been a while since I posted anything.
Says the Llama:
"This is generally regarded as a sequel to the Penn Unknowns comp though I think there's different people behind them. In any event this one's decidedly inferior with most of the killers already reissued elsewhere."
Yeah I think it's the same guys who put out Gathering Of The Tribes in 1982 that made this (it's on the same label, as is Attack Of The Jersey Teen which I'll upload later), and I strongly suspect they are germans. Not that there's anything wrong with that.