The 45 you see before you is one of those records that got lodged in my brain like some kind of splendid splinter back in the heady garage/mod days of the 1980s.
Both sides of the Other Side’s sole 45 had been included on a compilation LP (Mindrocker) and represented for me – then and now – the peak of the mid-60s California garage band sound.
In many ways this is a perfect two-sider, with a garage mover (Streetcar) on one side and a moody folk-rocker (Walking Down the Road) on the other, reflecting the brightest facets of the pre-psych years.
The Other Side were a San Francisco Bay-area band (they cake from Fremont, just south of Oakland), and only ever recorded the two sides you’re hearing today, for the storied Brent label, also home to Boo Boo and Bunky and the Harbinger Complex.
‘Streetcar’ has that West Coast pop/garage sound, with just a touch of UK R&Beat rave up in the mix.
‘Walking Up the Road’ is a very groovy folk jangler with a really interesting change-up in the chorus and a positively sublime guitar solo that may be the ultimate bit of Byrds music not actually created by the Byrds.
This record is a perfect microcosm/time capsule of a very specific moment in California rock history, just before things started to get a little heavier and more serious.
During their brief time together the other side gave up members to both the Chocolate Watchband and the Vejtables*, but by 1967 they were a done deal.
Interestingly, both sides of this 45 appeared on the 1967 Mainstream comp ‘A Pot of Flowers’, before showing up a bunch of times on various comps during the 80s garage revival.
I hope you dig the sounds as much as I do, and I’ll see you all next week.
*There is also an unconfirmed rumor that Skip Spence may have played on this 45