The Mystery Trend have been more a legend than a band since their dissolution, although some lo-fi unreleased tapes have made the rounds on the collectors' circuit. This 21-song compilation finally presents their legacy properly, including all of their 1966-67 Trident studio recordings, as well as some demos and even a solo demo apiece by Ron Nagle and guitarist Bob Cuff. Although some of the tunes are run-of-the-mill period rock, more often they're intriguing oddball art-pop-rock with a dash of psychedelia. "Words You Whisper" and "Ten Empty Cups" have a wistful, keyboard-grounded air that will seduce any Zombies fan, while the similar but poppier "There It Happened Again" is something like L.A. sunshine pop played with guts and imagination. Other cuts give you more of the weirdness you'd expect from a mid-1960s San Francisco band, as in the anxious melody, dread-infused words, and constant stops and starts of "Mercy Killing"; the lovely, lilting jazzy instrumental "Mambo for Marion"; and the ominous but tuneful "What If I" and "Lose Some Dreams" (which are like a darker Zombies). It's too bad that more of the pre-Trident demos that have been heard by collectors on unreleased tapes were not included, as some of them are quite up to par with the Trident sessions in the quality of the songwriting (if not fidelity), although a couple of them do appear on the CD. AMG.
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