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Human Expression - Love At Psychedelic Velocity (1966-67)
GREAT 60' PSYCH GARAGE BAND !
Because of their masterpiece track that called "Optical Sound", I choose my user name. Of course included it in this album (CD), as all their fantastic singles that issued in decate of 60's (4 singles in total). All Humans Expression's singles (a & b sides) are great garage/psychedelic tunes !! However, in 1994 the Collectables records, released an CD ''Love At Psychedelic Velocity'', which compiles all the band's singles, plus demos and four post-Human Expression solo tracks cut by Jim Quarles. The CD also includes excellent liner notes, from which this entry has largely been taken, and is recommended to fans of the band. Unfortunately for me, till now there is any vynil re-issue and even if I don't like to buy Cds, I have done for this lovely obscure and most desirable 60's garage psych groups !
Human Expression's story and discography:
1 Readin' Your Will / Everynight (Acetate Demo) Summer 1966 Singles 2 Love At Psychedelic Velocity/Everynight (Accent 1214) Summer 1966 3 Optical Sound / Calm Me Down (Acetate Demo) Winter 1966 4 Optical Sound/Calm Me Down (Accent 1226) Winter 1966 5 Sweet Child Of Nothingness / I Don't Need Nobody (Accent 1252) Summer 1967
The band was formed in 1966 by Jim Quarles (lead vocals), Jim Foster (rhythm guitar), Martin Eshleman (lead guitar), Tom Hamilton (bass), and Armand Poulin (drums), with Quarles providing the name and Foster's father as their manager.
Hailing from Westminster and Tustin, California, this psychedelic punk band were formed early in 1966 and played around the L.A. area, at clubs such as Gazzari's and USO clubs.
They good deliver on stage what most groups scarcely achieved on record, an intensely virtuoso musicality coupled with punk defiance and a charismatic projection of all of these elements. In a different reality, they might've been a more mature and serious competitor to the Seeds, perhaps even succeeding at doing what the Doors did, only without the literary pretentions or personal excesses--equally impressive was the fact that most of the songs that the Human Expression played were originals by Quarles and Foster, who were entirely self-taught songwriters; Quarles later admitted that he wrote from his heart and instinct, without over-intellectualizing any of it, and the results seemed to pay off when coupled with the band's musicianship--their demos were as good as many contemporary groups' released singles
An acetate Readin' Your Will / Everynight cut in the Summer of '66 got them a deal with Accent, who released two awesome acid-punk singles in the shape of Love At Psychedelic Velocity and Optical Sound. Both singles were mixed by Wally Heider who also worked for the Grateful Dead, and are now extremely sought-after and impossibly hard to find.
"Optical Sound" b/w "Calm Me Down," released in 1967, showed the group becoming more experimental, utilizing studio electronic effects. "Optical Sound" itself, as a title, was extremely clever, carrying with it connotations out of both psychedelia and film. It was impressive, but that single wasn't the breakthrough that the band had hoped for.
After Optical Sound proved too far-out for the Charts, the band's manager offered them the opportunity to record two tracks by what he described as "an up-and coming songwriter".
The first demo Sweet Child Of Nothingness would become their third single, and the other track was turned down because Jim Quarles' didn't think lyrics like "Get your motor running / Head out on the highway" were any good. The song was of course Mars Bonfire's Born To Be Wild which Steppenwolf would later cover!!
The Human Expression's downfall came with the decision over what was to be their third single. Offered a pair of songs to choose from, they selected a number called "Sweet Child of Nothingness." The one they rejected was a song authored by Mars Bonfire called "Born To Be Wild," because Quarles had some doubts about the lyrics. By the time the Sweet Child Of Nothingness / I Don't Need Nobody single was recorded, both Jim Quarles and Martin Eshleman had left the band.
This decision, which proved disastrous when Steppenwolf took their version of the song to the top of the charts, coincided with a major personnel shake-up--lead guitarist Martin Eschleman was injured and had to be replaced, and Quarles didn't like the new line-up and exited. The Human Expression's history ended.
Jim Quarles is still active in the music business, working in a studio as a technical engineer, and writing and recording songs.