Produced by bubblegum maestro Joey Levine, formerly of the Third Rail, SOK’s self-titled third album originally saw the light of day on Jerry Kasenetz and Jeffrey Katz’s Super K Productions in 1969, following the collapse of their previous label, Dunwich.
The evident tensions between Super K’s tried and tested commercial pop methodology and SOK’s straining at the leash garage instincts are fascinatingly laid bare for all to hear. The combination of the production and songwriting styles brings about a strangely heady fusion of sophisticated bubblegum motifs and raucous freak-outs. With this souped-up reissue also featuring the non-album 45s Shake! and the stunning My Fire Department Needs A Fireman, once it’s up to cruising speed this is a rampaging monster littered with powerhouse performances and some truly Record Collector oddball moments. Witness Uncle Wiggley’s Airship and the tongue-in- cheek 20-second burst of feedback Under Acoustic Control. Meanwhile, I’ll Set You Free’s sneering fuzz and Moonesque clatter feels like a sprawling West Coast psychedelic blow-out, while the supercharged covers of Buffalo Springfield’s Bluebird and Willie Dixon’s Back Door Man find SOK straying deep into Blue Cheer territory.