“I go down to the seashore to wash my brain…I never come back feelin’ the same now”
I first encountered the a-side of this single on the third (and final) volume of the Endless Journey compilations issued by Funhouse Records on their Psycho label way back when. Pebbles had introduced me to 60s garage but Endless Journey was the gateway to far more psychedelic fare. And even among the head-swirling assemblage of tracks gathered together on these records, this song stood out. The name of the band alone grabbed my attention. And the music was a revelation.
From Oakland, CA the band recorded their one 45 at Sierra Sound Labs in Berkeley. So perhaps it is no surprise that they must have been listening to Electric Music for the Mind and Body, the magnificent debut album by Berkeley residents Country Joe and the Fish. The lyrics for ‘The Forest of Black’ are surely a homage to ‘Bass Strings’, where Country Joe sings:
“I believe I’ll go out to the seashore, let the waves wash my mind, open up my head now, just to see what I can find…”
Except that in place of the stoned, laid-back vibe of that paean to the psychedelic experience, Dirty Filthy Mud audaciously merge electronics with a driving rock beat to create something worthy of genre pioneers United States of America (the band) or Fifty Foot Hose (also a band!).
‘The Forest of Black’
‘Morning Sunflower’ can’t compete with that but is still a very pleasant slice of Bay Area psychedelia.
Around $800 on eBay (though it has sold for over a thousand), this is probably easiest to find on the 2006 CD Psychedelic Minds on World in Sound, which includes both sides of the single.