Bobby Sharp’s ‘Unchain My Heart’, a hit for Ray Charles in 1961, was a popular choice to cover for many 60s garage bands. What sets apart the version by The Undertakers from Amarillo, Texas is its infectious enthusiasm and the searing fuzz laden lead guitar work of John Urenda that makes its presence felt throughout the song, not just on the excellent reverb tinged solo. A fairground carousel style introduction quickly gives way to a vibrant, high octane rendition with strong vocals and a pin sharp arrangement.
Flip ‘It’s My Time’ moves into garage psych territory with its high-pitched keyboard melody, nagging baseline and haunting shifts in tempo in the verse. In contrast, the chorus is ultra catchy and there’s a fantastic little unison guitar and keyboard riff that appears in the middle and outro of the song. Another winner!
‘Unchain My Heart’
‘It’s My Time’
The outfit’s lone single was recorded at local DJ Larry Cox’s studio in Amarillo and released in 1967 on the Studio 7 label.
Reissues: Both sides are on Sixties Archives Volume 2 (or Texas Punk Groups From The Sixties Volume 1 if you prefer vinyl). ‘Unchain My Heart’ is also on Texas Flashbacks Volume 3 and the Off The Wall Volumes 1 and 2 CD.