31 FLAVORS

Proto-Metal • United States
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The 31 Flavors were a kind of spoof, or "exploitation" band, comprising unnamed session musicians - hence there is no band photo in existence.

These musicians recorded two albums, the first using the band name Firebird (see separate entry), and the second, 31 Flavors.

The music was, according to reports, a deliberate emulation and send-up of the Hendrix/Cream inspired heavy psychedelic rock explosion in the U.S. - but there's nothing to officially confirm this.

The instrumental "Distortions of Darkness" seems to be a direct precursor to Black Sabbath.
Thanks to Certif1ed for the addition and Time Signature, cannon for the updates

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HairHair
Out-Sider 2014
$38.89
$28.93 (used)
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Douglas, Charles : 31 Flavors CD Douglas, Charles : 31 Flavors CD USD $2.68 Buy It Now 2 days
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31 FLAVORS Hair LP/1969 US/ULTRA-HEAVY FUZZ/DISTORTION GUITAR PSYCH ROCK MONSTER 31 FLAVORS Hair LP/1969 US/ULTRA-HEAVY FUZZ/DISTORTION GUITAR PSYCH ROCK MONSTER USD $34.98 Buy It Now 4 days
31 FLAVORS , THE - HAIR NEW VINYL RECORD 31 FLAVORS , THE - HAIR NEW VINYL RECORD USD $38.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Douglas, Charles : 31 Flavors CD Douglas, Charles : 31 Flavors CD USD $4.99 Buy It Now 10 days
IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD / 31 FLAVORS (45/7 IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD / 31 FLAVORS (45/7"), THE SHIRELLES,Very Good, # USD $12.99 Buy It Now 12 days
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THE 31 FLAVORS LP - HAIR Psych Garage Fuzz CROWN 1968 Firebirds / Animated Egg THE 31 FLAVORS LP - HAIR Psych Garage Fuzz CROWN 1968 Firebirds / Animated Egg USD $97.00 Buy It Now 21 days
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31 FLAVORS Discography

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31 FLAVORS Hair album cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
Hair
Proto-Metal 1969

31 FLAVORS EPs & splits

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31 FLAVORS Hair

Album · 1969 · Proto-Metal
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As the band bio states above, this is a mysterious band of anonymous members working as a heavy psych band in 1969. They recorded three albums for Crown as The Firebirds for "Light My Fire", The 31 Flavors for "Hair", and The Electric Firebirds for "Dance Party Time", a forgotten album that was not as heavy.

I have written a review of the "Light My Fire" album and I have written about the band(s) on my blog, so if you do a search you can find anything, what little there is, not mentioned here on this site. I will say that it seems the first two tracks must have been recorded at the behest of Crown and for the rest of the tracks the band were allowed to do their own thing.

Here's a rundown of the songs in the running order that they appear on the "Light My Fire/Hair" reissue. No, not "Light My Hair on Fire"!

Hair – Appalling. Who is singing? Someone was drunk and taking the piss on Bob Dylan. “Not lack for bread”? Good only as a painful joke.

Aquarius / Let the Sun Shine In – A young woman who didn’t place in a high school singing contest gets the lead vocals here. Sometimes going flat, this is one of the most abysmally performed vocal performances I have ever heard on record.

Protest – Has potential. Less distortion (none on the Hair songs). With a little more work this could have turned into something. As it is, it’s not too shabby.

Free Fuzz – The guitar solo part of the the “Free” series. At times the guitarist seems to be on to something but I think the “Free” series was just an improv jam session. At least the distortion is back.

One-Two-Three-Four – Another song that seems to have great potential. Perhaps after a year or so of playing together, the band actually managed to work out their material more for their second recording session with Crown. Another no-distortion number that resembles a less intense song by the very intense Sonics.

Real Far Out – The distortion is back but used with a little more attention to detail here. This is an instrumental that show cases the guitar playing in a bluesy kind of style.

Free Drums – The drum solo in the “Free” series.

Distortions of Darkness – Ah, here we have the song, or instrumental, that most proto-mental fanatics (including me) came for. The guitar here attempts to make Blue Cheer look like a flower meadow. Actually, it reminds me of a very early version of the music of Pelican on “What We All Come to Need”.

All in all, a few tracks here make this double-album CD release worth checking out. Whatever happened to the band? With this re-issue of their work will someone stand up and claim it as theirs? Did anyone later become famous elsewhere? Or did everyone take up non-musical careers and are now enjoying their retirement oblivious to the fact that their music has now garnered interest?

While I can't really recommend buying the albums individually, this double CD is worth it for anyone into heavy psych and really distorted proto-metal of the late sixties. Just know that this is not Hendrix or Cream or Blue Cheer. Very rough work here.

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