6 February 2009
"THE KOALA - THE KOALA" (60s GARAGE PSYCHEDELIC PUNK US 1969)
"The Koala" were a late 60's group from New York that released just one album, which was ignored at the time, but decades later became highly sought-after by collectors of obscure Psychedelic-Garage.
"The Koala" were "Jose Mala" (vocals), "Louis Cane" [aka "Louis Dambra"] (Fuzz guitar), "Joe Guido" (rhythm guitar), "Anthony Wesley" (bass guitar) and "Joe Alexander" (drums).
"The Koala" released one and only single, "Don't You Know What I Mean?" b/w "Scattered Children's Toys", in 1968.
Though it didn't receive any chart action, the band did proceed with recording their debut LP.
"The Koala" mixes "The Who"'s frantic rhythms and "The Rolling Stones"-style Garage Rock with riotous Psychedelic leads and venomous, proto-Punk vocals.
An impressive introduction, but the unit decided to call it a day soon after their album was made available and the record disappeared without much notice.
The musicians discovered by "Blues Magoos"' managers "Bob Wyld" and "Art Polhemus" were teenagers when the album was recorded at "Regent Studios", NY for "Capitol Records" (Capitol 2365), and the playing is sometimes RAW, but their enthusiasm makes up for any shortcomings.
"The Koala" prove themselves to be above average players, full of Passion and conviction on their self titled album.
"Look At The Way She Comes" is typical of the band's best material: a "The Who"/"Rolling Stones" hybrid with bile-inducing vocals, wild Psychedelic guitar, and a TIGHT, nearly deranged performance — PLUS it's a great tune.
At first, "Strange Feelings" seems to be teen-punk against all the way, but features an unexpected yet seamless raga detour (and the only time they would noticeably embrace Indian music).
"Poppa Duke Tyler" borrows both the melody and subject manner of "Eleanor Rigby", but instead of going the somber route "The Beatles" took, "The Koala" uses the universal theme of loneliness to produce a stomping, unhinged rocker — complete with FANTASTIC Fuzz guitar— where the protagonist is actually driven to the brink of madness by the isolation.
Their energy and enthusiasm is so INFECTIOUS, with arrangements that are subtle, yet manic and appealing, it makes up for the handful of unremarkable numbers here.
Truly one of misplaced gems of 60's Garage-Psychedelic-Punk.