Bent Wind The Lost Ryerson Tapes / At the Psychedome

At long last the ultra-rare recordings by one of Toronto’s premiere prime era psych-rock bands Bent Wind are finally available. Collected here in this double-CD package are this provocative quartet’s original 1969 lost classic of an album, Sussex, a pile of "lost” cuts and some newer material recorded between 1989 and 1995 and in 2005 by the reformed group. The Sussex material is brimming over with proto-hard rock goodness in the style of Blue Cheer and other like-minded rockers intent on laying psychedelic overtones to their raw delivery. This stuff is pretty much recorded live to tape, without any silly psychedelic quirkiness, just raw tunes that are sometimes pretty and tender ("Mystify,” "Look at Love”) but more often balls-out rocking ("Sacred Cows,” "Touch of Red”). The Lost Ryerson Tapes, recorded in 1970 by a Ryerson student, are even more raw and primitive, with fuzz bass, tape hiss and unexpected pans, and the songs are just as good. Predictably, Bent Wind’s ’90s and ’05 material is pretty bad, prancing fine lines between blue-collar power-rock anthems, Dire Straits and Division Bell-era Pink Floyd melodrama. But picking up this package is worth it for the classic Sussex alone. (Rock Vegas)