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The Human Expression

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But for a 1967 decision about which single to record, The Human Expression might’ve been a lot more than an obscure but beloved psychedelic band from Los Angeles. The band was formed in 1966 by Jim Quarles (lead vocals), Jim Foster (rhythm guitar), Martin Eshleman (lead guitar), Tom Hamilton (bass), and Armand Poulin (drums), with Quarles providing the name and Foster’s father as their manager. They cut a demo single (“Everynight” b/w “Readin’ Your Will,” which got them a recording contract with Los Angeles-based Accent Records. An official single of “Everynight” b/w “Love at Psychedelic Velocity” was issued soon after.

The band played played local clubs and USOs, and built up a great reputation for their hot live performances — they good deliver on-stage what most groups scarcely achieved on record, an intensely virtuoso musicality coupled with punk defiance and a charismatic projection of all of these elements. In a different reality, they might’ve been a more mature and serious competitor to the Seeds, perhaps even succeeding at doing what the Doors did, only without the literary pretensions or personal excesses — equally impressive was the fact that most of the songs that the Human Expression played were originals by Quarles and Foster, who were entirely self-taught songwriters; Quarles later admitted that he wrote from his heart and instinct, without over-intellectualizing any of it, and the results seemed to pay off when coupled with the band’s musicianship — their demos were as good as many contemporary groups’ released singles. A second single, “Optical Sound” b/w “Calm Me Down,” released in 1967, showed the group becoming more experimental, utilizing studio electronic effects.

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  • Soci0path

    Love at Psychedelic Velocity '94 is Unbelievably excellent! Recordings from 1965 to 1967 & it still sounds too lively, too trippy... These guys really are a huge obscure icon in the Psychedelic Garage scene. Hats off to them & much more appreciation...

    27 Mar 4:47am Reply
  • Robert161989

    good shit

    21 Feb 2012 Reply
  • iconan

    songs can tear the skin off. psychedelic garage-rock. -.-.-.-.-. om hari om .....

    21 Oct 2011 Reply
  • Cageman85

    True that, Calm Me Down is a real gem. Such a moving song...

    29 Sep 2011 Reply
  • uncleogrimacey

    Why is "Calm Me Down" not more popular?

    22 Apr 2011 Reply
  • juantheowl

    optical sound is a really haunting record, great stuff

    3 Feb 2011 Reply
  • Enagrom

    Well, Japanther was not THAT great. But Shellshag (opening) was cool. I just listened to the Human Expression, really great, thanks for that. I only found an album called "Garage Greats"... Gonna look for more !

    2 Feb 2011 Reply
  • LivingShit

    every night murked-out guitar bleariness in the background classic

    28 Aug 2010 Reply
  • mynameisjoehann

    really good

    16 Jun 2010 Reply
  • milensinan

    Everynight.

    31 Mar 2009 Reply
  • biancahahne

    not even believe that i found that here

    14 Nov 2008 Reply
  • Aqueronte

    Really great band. One of the most personal and interesting sounds of the 60s.

    3 Dec 2007 Reply

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