The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators & 10 Early Texas Psych Bands You Should Know


10. The Red Krayola
In the wake of Psychedelic Sounds' success, International Artists reached out to the other leaders of the burgeoning Texas psych scene. Among the weirdest was Houston's Red Krayola. In 1967, the band released its first of two albums for the label: The Parable of Arable Land. It was one of, if not the most challenging rock records of the era.

Particularly notable are the album's free-form freakouts - cacophonous collages performed by a group of anonymous followers known as the Familiar Ugly. These convention-shattering pieces have led some to tab Red Krayola as Houston's first noise act.

9. Bubble Puppy
After stumbling on to a phenomenon with "You're Gonna Miss Me," International Artists chased psychedelic chart hits for the remainder of the '60s. Their only other commercially successful single came in the form of "Hot Smoke and Sassafras" by San Antonio's Bubble Puppy.

The Hendrix-tinged hardness of the tune, combined with a sublimely fuzzy guitar tone, helped make it an acid-rock essential. The album built around it, A Gathering of Promises, is more of the same. It doesn't touch the weirdness of the Elevators or Krayola, but it rocks a damn sight harder.

8. Fever Tree
A lot of psych-rock fans just assumed that Fever Tree was from the Bay Area, thanks to the band's modest hit "San Francisco Girls (Return of the Native)" from 1968's self-titled album. Reasonable though that belief may have been, the Tree hailed from far muddier waters. The Spring Branch band was actually another staple of Houston's Love Street scene.

Incredibly, the band's organist, Rob Landes, recently unearthed an old reel-to-reel recording of the band's final gig at Mt. Carmel High School in 1969. The lost time-capsule tapes were released just last year as Fever Tree Live 1969. Talk about a flashback.


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