Wednesday, February 16, 2022

The Contents Are - Through You (1967 us, profound lyricism tugging at the soft edges of psychedelia, 2007 bonus tracks release)

The wheels on the “big, blue” hippy bus went round and round as the Contents Are weaved their merry way across Iowa spreading the word of paisley protest. For four years during the ’60s, the Quad Cities-based quartet created a heady brew of subdued blues beats, catchy psych-pop and tripped-out folk that sugar-coated the hardcore messages which lurked beneath the 13 original tunes on 1967’s Through You. 

The Contents Are’s songs weren’t all filled with cotton candy clouds floating in a marshmallow sky but dealt with more serious issues including a very bleak view of modern democracy (“Peace At Last”) set to a tune that borrows from the Beatles “Dr. Robert”, a hook-laden wake-up call to the U.S. government (“In Trouble”) that, some would say, is still relevant today, and the ever-present nuclear threat (“If You’re Relaxing”). This previously hard-to-find (only 100 copies were pressed and sold at gigs) regional gem is bolstered by the band’s two excellent, and not quite so hard-to-find, singles. The best of these sides, “Future Days”, is a piece of moody, early psych-blues that sounds like it hails from the dark side of Haight-Ashbury and, even with the poor audio quality, is alone worth the price of admission to this particular band’s garage.
by Alan Brown, 15 May 2008 

“Rumours of a limited demo LP pressing from this renowned Iowa garagey-folk rock band remained unconfirmed until a copy popped up at a 2005 Austin Record Show. Curiosity grew into excitement as the album turned out to feature 13 band originals in a terrific melodic Beatles ‘65-66 style with a sprinkling of Byrds on top. In other words, an ideal sound for a ’lost’ 60s album, reminiscent of the Beauregard Ajax recordings from L.A. Drawing inspiration from the Beatles is usually an indication of both taste and cojones, and the Contents Are deliver a string of skillfully arranged 3-minute gems from the point where beat and folk rock turn into melodic psychedelia.” – Patrick Lundborg, The Acid Archives

The Contents Are’s debut album was originally issued in 1967 in an edition of just 100 copies. Hailing from Quad City, Iowa, these four young men recorded one incredible song after another, their ambitions well beyond that of the typical group at the time.This record, more rumoured than heard, lives at a wild nexus in American culture, simultaneously expansive and reflective, searching for answers in society through music and art. The great German label Shadoks first reissued this legendary set almost ten years ago, and we’re very happy to bring you a new deluxe edition of “Through You”, this time with the very special addition of the band’s two non-album 45s, originally released on the ROK label (these two singles are seeing their first ever reissue on vinyl; previously only available as CD bonus tracks, and well worth rediscovery). Let this record turn you on to new horizons.
1. Country Roads - 3:29
2. The Dream Of My Predictions - 3:13
3. Uni-Love - 3:13
4. Peace At Last - 2:07
5. In Trouble - 2:07
6. No Chance To Choose - 2:11
7. Tonight In Venice - 2:25
8. Unconcerned - 2:26
9. Don't Take My Freedom - 1:55
10.Recurring Changes - 2:47
11.No Need To Be Blamed - 2:53
12.If You're Relaxing - 1:52
13.Brother Abbot - 2:49
14.I Don't Know - 2:54
15.Direction Of Mind - 2:42
16. - 2:39
17.New Mexico - 2:15
All songs by Craig Hute

The Contents Are
*Dave Neumann - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Craig Hute - Guitar, Vocals
*Mick Orton - Bass, Keyboards, Vocals
*Paul Staack - Drums, Vocals
*Larry Smith - Bass, Vocals