Sundazed is one of the top reissue outfits; its CD and LP packages are consistently full of great liner notes, wonderfully remastered sound, and faithful reproductions of original sides as well as expertly chosen compilations with full artist involvement. This 40-track, double-disc collection is the only true best-of that fuzz guitar frenzy icon Davie Allan will ever need. Davie Allan & the Arrows recorded four original albums for Mike Curb's Tower and Sidewalk labels between 1964-1968 and scored numerous (nearly 20) soundtracks for American International Pictures' reigning B-movie warlords of the '60s during the same period, including the mother of all biker flicks, The Wild Angels starring Peter Fonda (pre-Easy Rider) and Nancy Sinatra; it was directed by Roger Corman, who picked Allan based on the strength of the band's debut album, Apache '65 (featuring Billy Strange on rhythm guitar) and early singles. Seven of those album tracks (six of which made up the Arrows' first few singles) are here along with the four prime cuts from The Wild Angels, making up the first 11 cuts of disc one! The Wild Angels tracks are laced with roaring, thundering motorcycle sounds; the first Allan cuts were absolutely drenched in fuzz years before Jimi Hendrix made the scene. Allan's guitar playing was equal parts Duane Eddy, Dick Dale, Link Wray, and Nokie Edwards with his own finessed yet aggressive attack, and the Gibson and Mosrite fuzz boxes made him a snarling creature from another planet. Among the tracks here is one of the greatest psychedelic rock instrumentals of all time, "Blue's Theme." The other half of disc one contains cuts from the Devil's Angels soundtrack -- among them the amazing theme and psychedelic freakout cut "The Ghost Story," as well as an homage to Wray's "Rumble" entitled "The Devil's Rumble," with everything recorded in overdrive and distorted to an exponential power of sick! Farfisa organs and drums were layered into these mixes, creating a sound as dark in many ways as the Velvet Underground's more twisted experiments some years later, but revved with the energy of the mid-'60s Sunset Strip.
Disc two collects soundtrack material from Thunder Alley and Teenage Rebellion, including the other signature Allan cut, the blistering screech of "The Young World," as well as the spare but equally compelling "Action on the Street." One of the most compelling aspects of the Arrows' appeal is that as time progressed -- seemingly at lightning speed given how prolific the band was -- Allan never grew complacent. He was always stretching, looking for other sounds and other ways to expand the textural and dynamic range of the guitar -- even if that meant re-recording earlier cuts with new arrangements and effects, like "Blue's Trip," a remake of "Blue's Theme" that was less psychedelic but full of a lean toughness and elasticity that the overdriven original had forgone for obvious reasons. What's more, "Blue's Trip," a phenomenal version of "Ghost Riders in the Sky," and the psychotic anthem "Fuzz Theme" make this second disc as essential as the first. Other original cuts here are "Another Cycle from Detroit," the acid-drenched "Mind Transferral," the hyper scree of "Invasion," and the monumental biker wet dream epic "Cycle-Delic" (which clocks in at six minutes and 46 seconds), turning this set into one of the greatest beat-fabulous six-string rage-tastic bombastic compilations ever issued. Not only does it give listeners an overdue reappraisal of one of the electric guitar's greatest innovators and most soulful players, but it provides a real slice of time and place. Many of the soundtracks that boasted the music of Davie Allan & the Arrows were meant to exploit the teen wallet and so they did, but they also (perhaps unwittingly) provided one of the greatest proto-garage punk outfits in history the opportunity to raise hell on wax. With an excellent package that is chock-full of photos, band comments, and authoritative liner notes by "the Seth Man", this Davie Allan & the Arrows anthology is essential listening for anybody interested in tough psych rave-up engine-revving rock & roll.