Crawling Walls

 New Mexico Garage Psych


Daily Lobo, October 19, 1983


Local Group’s Music Unusual Hobby

By Lydia Piper

Normally, math, computers and nuclear medicine have little in common with psychedelic rock music, but there is an exception—the Crawling Walls.

Although playing this type of music is not a common hobby for most professionals, the members of the Crawling Walls—which consists of a mathematician, a computer operator and a student in nuclear medicine technology—said they enjoy playing for fun.

“We have no aspirations to make a living playing music,” said keyboard player and lead vocalist Bob Fountain, a University of New Mexico graduate student and teaching assistant in the department of math and statistics.

“I think as soon as anyone decides that’s what they’re going to do, the music starts suffering. Music is just a hobby,” he said.

Fountain, together with guitarist Hans Kohls and drummer Richard Perez, started the Crawling Walls in May. The group will perform with Plan 9 and Kor-Phu at a benefit concert for child care research at 8 p.m. Thursday in the New Mexico Union Ballroom.

Unlike most bands in the Albuquerque area, the Crawling Walls is content to play private parties and small clubs and considers itself an underground band.

“We’re underground in the sense that we don’t want to break into the commercial circuit,” said Fountain. This includes, he explained, the more popular Albuquerque clubs.

“I think one of the problems is that music has been associated too much with commercial success,” added Perez, a UNM student studying nuclear medicine technology.

“Music has been around for a longtime, You can take (as an example) the folk music which is played in Europe, and see that there are a lot of competent bands who have full-time jobs and play music in their spare time,” he said. “So, although we might not want to make a living playing music, that doesn’t mean we don’t take it seriously.”

The Crawling Walls plays a style of music popular in the mid ‘60s. Although labeled psychedelic rock, it is different from the acid rock of the Jefferson Airplane and Jimi Hendrix in that it is more concise.

In many ways, the Crawling Walls’ music is more like the punk music of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. The punk movement was a rebellion against established ways, and punk music demonstrated this by rejecting sophisticated, technological music and going back to a more basic sound.

Influenced by such groups as the 13th Floor Elevators, Electric Prunes, Yardbirds and Mouse and the Traps, the Crawling Walls has a play list of about 42 songs of both copy and original material. Although the titles at first seem unfamiliar to most people, many of the songs were on the charts in the ‘60s and spark memories as soon as they are played.

“When we play the songs, the first few notes get a sound of recognition from the crowd,” said Fountain. “They know the song—they just don’t remember they know it.”

Although the group said it has no interest in making a living by playing music, it has talked about making a record, and has been asked by a Voxx Records to send a tape for consideration on a compilation album of ‘60s garage band/psychedelic music.

“It is difficult to make money off a single in Albuquerque, said Kohls, a computer operator. “In Los Angeles, it’s more feasible because the college stations play a lot of material from local bands and give them exposure. But here, most local bands end up losing money.

Money has also deterred the band from making a video. The cost of making a video for MTV is more than unknown bands can afford without investors, Perez said. Because of this, the music ends up being controlled by outside sources, such as record companies and advertising agencies.

“I think it does more harm than good,” he said. “ Music takes a back seat to the visual image. Also, some good music gets suppressed because there are a lot of good bands that can’t afford to make a video to play on MTV.”

“We have a lot of fun playing the way it is now,” Fountain said. “When you try to start making money or getting famous, it takes the fun out of it.”

  Daily Lobo, September 28, 1984

When it rains it pours. The musical forecast for the weekend is blustery, windy, rainy—all sorts of weather for all sorts of tastes.

The Crawling Walls, featuring skilled musicians, are busy making a name for themselves reviving classic ‘60s riffs and hooks.

They will play at Bow Wow, 8 p.m. Saturday, where Paul Arden’s Various Late Modernist Tendencies is currently on exhibit. Two dollars at the door also entitles one to a 10-percent discount on musical purchases.

  Daily Lobo, October 1, 1984

The Crawling Walls, Albuquerque’s answer to the 13th Floor Elevators, played 60’s music on Saturday night at Bow Wow records. From left to right: Larry Otis, guitarist; Nancy Martinez played bass; Richard Perez, on drums; and Bob Fountain played keyboards.

  Mutual Oblivian, October, 1984


S.U.B. Ballroom – October 20th

Talk about Freak-outs!! Far-out funky Kor-phu, stoked and stoned-out Crawling Walls, and mysterious Plan 9 from Rhode Island, grooved the UNM Ballroom. Billed as a “3 Band Meltdown” with an “authentic” psych-a-delic light-show and film, which I didn’t see because it wasn’t shown … the small crowd never the less was entertained. Kor-Fhu opened with their own brand of 80’s Psycho-Psych-a-delic rock, and are tight as usual. If you haven’t seen them, be sure to check em’ out cause they really rip. Local faves Crawling Walls played next and really got the people dancing with a steady blast from the 60’s pschadelic past. This was probably their last public performance as fast fingers Hans is moving on, they will be missed by alot of locals and are a prime example of the excellant local talent of which Albuq. is capable. Unfortunately, most of the crowd left after C.W.’s. As it was, Plan 9 broke down in some corn field in Kansas and were late to set up after a 12 hour dirve. But, they were worth the wait. An 8 piece band with 4 guitars and a lead singer who can make Sky Saxon turn over in his grave. (if he were dead)!!! The 4 guitars sounded as one, and a definate highlight was the cherub looking bass guitar player who at 19 is 5 years ahead of his time. (Their single). Memorable songs were “White Woman” and “Can’t Have You” along with other soon to be released originals. They enjoyed their stay in Albuq. and even attended Hans’ going away party. They might stop here again sometime in November.

  Albuquerque Tribune, November 9, 1984

In support of that album, Dee Dee and his “brothers”—Johnny, Joey and Marky Ramone (not really related)—will be appearing at the University of New Mexico Student Union Building Ballroom Wednesday night at 8:30. Albuquerque punk band Crawling Walls will open.

  Daily Lobo, November 12, 1984

The Ramones get tough in Albuquerque 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, in the SUB Ballroom. Opening the show will be Albuquerque’s Crawling Walls. Tickets, $8.75 in advance and $9.75 the day of the show, are available at Bow Wow Records, Natural Sound Records, and all Giant Ticket Outlets.

The show is presented by Natural Sound and ASUNM-PEC as a benefit for the People’s Anti-Cruelty Association (PACA) which provides aid and shelter for stray animals.

  Daily Lobo, November 14, 1984

The Ramones return to Albuquerque tonight at 8:30 p.m. in the SUB Ballroom. Special guests are Albuquerque’s psychedelic dance band, the Crawling Walls. Tickets are $8.75 ($9.75 at the door), available at all Giant outlets, Natural Sound and Bow Wow Records. The concert, presented by Natural Sound and ASUNM-PEC, is a benefit for the People’s Anti-Cruelty Association.

  Bomp Records, May, 1985


With a name like this they’ve gotta be cool, right? Right! The pride of Albuquerque, this band has improved rapidly over the past year and is now among the most impressive neo-psych garage groups we’ve heard.

  Daily Lobo, June 27, 1985

Crawling Walls

By David J. Clemmer

And so it came to pass that an angel came down to earth and said unto the gathered multitudes, “Go ye forth into thine garages and make ye a loud racket. Be ye fruitful and multiply and I shall appoint Saint Fred, the patron saint of Japanese guitars and cheap recording studios, to watch over thee and keep thy neighbors from getting too pissed off. Over and out.”

Thus was the era of the garage bands born, or something like that. Starting in the early/mid-sixties thousands of Americans of the young male persuasion heeded the call of a nation that needed to counter the first British invasion of rock bands with a noise of its own. The strangest flowers that bloomed out of the garage scene were the psychedelic bands, that took the lysergic sentiments of the day to new extremes. Bands like the 13th Floor Elevators, the Seeds, the Chocolate Watchband and others were among the best known, but hundreds more were hidden away in small clubs, basement parties, garages and primitive recording studios all across the country.

With the emergence of the new wave, old wave, punk or whatever-you-want-to-call-it scene in the late 70’s a new generation of American and British youth started looking back into the proto-punk roots of the original garage movement. Vinyl psychedelia compilations such as the “Nuggets,” “Pebbles,” and “Boulders” series started appearing, and it now seems that America is in the throes of a full-blown (and somewhat suspect) psychedelic revival. But then again, the first one was pretty suspect too.

The Crawling Walls is Albuquerque’s own 1980’s update of the garage psychedelic resurgence. Based on an earnest appreciation of their forbearers of two decades previous, the Crawling Walls formed in 1983 with Bob Fountain on organ and keyboard bass (a la the Doors Ray Manzarek), Hans Kohls on guitar and Richard Perez on drums. Kohls was transferred from his U. S. Air Force job at Kirtland to a new post in Denver, and Larry Otis and Nancy Martinez were added to the line-up on guitar and bass, respectively. The Crawling Walls played at parties, Fireman’s Hall Gigs, bars and the occasional psychedelic bar mitzvah. Enthusiastic responses from local audiences encouraged the band and Bob Fountain’s original songs began to make up the bulk of the Crawling Walls set. The Crawling Walls occasionally hid themselves away in Albuquerque’s mysterious Bottom Line Studios to record their progress, and in late 1984 they sent a tape to Los Angeles-based Bomp Records. Bomp expressed more than a passing interest, and a deal was struck for the Crawling Walls to record an album’s worth of tunes. The finished product, Inner Limits on the Voxx label (a subsidiary of Bomp), has just been released and all of us are the richer for it.

Shortly after the band finished recording its LP at Bottom Line, the Perez/Martinez rhythm section departed and were replaced by the extremely dangerous duo of Carl Petersen (bass) and Bill Mudd (drums). Petersen and Mudd have been playing together for years (do Bill’s Friends, Martian funk or Ubana Pistola ring a bell?), and their union with Fountain/Otis seems to be a fine match. Although Fountain jokingly refers to the band as a group of “former musicians,” and Petersen firmly states that “jazz stinks,” the Crawling Walls’ performances, both in concert and on vinyl, leave no doubt as to its members’ instrumental abilities. In addition to his musical achievements Fountain is one of the few (if not the only one) who holds a Ph.D. while handling lead vocals and organ in a psychedelic band. Fountain recently got his doctorate from UNM’s math department and will be leaving Albuquerque to accept a teaching post at the University of Texas at San Antonio. In conjunction with the release of the Inner Limits LP, the Crawling Walls will be available to their fans at an album signing party at Bow Wow Records, 7-10 p.m. on Friday, June 28. Upcoming gigs include: the Mad House, July 6; Casa Armijo, July 13; the Tamarind, July 27 (tentative); and the Cavern Club in L.A., August 3. Excellent production by Mark Shipman and humorously bizarre cover art by R.K. Sloane and Teri Corbin (all locals) help to make this high-quality package complete. Buy local. The Crawling Walls are anxious to crawl all over you, so don’t miss them. Sadly they won’t be around much longer due to Fountain’s departure. At least we know what we’ve got here before it’s gone.

  Albuquerque Journal, June 28, 1985


Rock Band Celebrates Album

Crawling Walls, an Albuquerque band that plays 1960s rock, will celebrate the release of its new album titled “Inner Limits” with a reception and album signing party from 7 to 10 tonight at Bow Wow; Records, 103 Amherst SE. The album features cover art by Albuquerque underground artists/cartoonists R.K. Sloane and Teri Corbin. The songs on the album were composed by Bob Fountain, the band’s music director and keyboardist. Other band members are Larry Otis, guitar, Carl Petersen, bass and Bill Mudd, drums.

  Albuquerque Tribune, July 5, 1985

Crawling Walls

Albuquerque band mixes psychedelia, New Wave


Tribune Accent writer

When last we visited Larry Otis, he was a member of what we were assured would be Albuquerque’s first big pop success—the New Wave Philisteens. When last heard from, Bob Fountain was a member of the determinedly unsuccessful proto-rockabilly band Jet Girls.

So if it comes as a mild surprise that the two found each other in the Crawling Walls, it must be something of a shock that their chosen common ground was 1960s psychedelic rock.

And it’s got to be enough to floor you when you learn they’ve actually got a record out with national distribution, even if it is on the cult label Bomp.

How could such a thing come to pass?

“Really, it just happened,” said Fountain. “We’re pretty much just a band of loons—no one went into this thing with any stars in their eyes. No one thought about a record, except maybe as something we’d record ourselves and keep for our grandchildren.

“We just hoped to play in a couple of living rooms ... maybe some dances.

That’s quite a difference from Otis’ days with the Philisteens, kind of the Duke City’s answer to the Knack (if you remember them). They were pushed into recording an album and hyped along every step of the way. With the Philisteens now irretrievably splintered, Otis has fond memories of his friends but no regrets about the change in bands.

“For one thing, in this band I haven’t heard one word about learning to dance on stage,” he said. “We’ve put hardly any effort at all to making it as opposed to the other band where that’s all we thought about.”

Of course, being a band that tries to play original music in Albuquerque is not easy. It is hard for the Walls to get gigs—local club owners seem to prefer bands that can sound just like all your favorite Top 40 artists.

“But in a way, the fact that the clubs didn’t want us has been a big help,” Otis said. “We developed our own way without any outside pressures and that is what the record company liked about us.”

The album, “Inner Side,” is … we’ll dismiss the temptation to say it’s’ surprisingly good for a local band and just say it’s surprisingly good. Period. With Fountain’s chanting Vox organ riffs and Otis’ inventive guitar playing, it verges on psychedelia but retains the tight, dance-band feel of New Wave. Let’s call it psychedelia without the self-indulgence.

In addition to Fountain and Otis, the band that recorded the album included Nancy Martinez on bass and Richard Perez on drums. Since then, they’ve been replaced by Carl Petersen and Bill Mudd.

Crawling Walls will perform Saturday night at the Madhouse, above Foxes Lounge, 8521 Central Ave. N.E. Next Saturday they’ll be at Casa Armijo, 1021 Isleta Blvd. S.W.

The roots of the band’s sound lie in Fountain’s old Conflicting Theories band where instrumental covers of Ventures hits were arranged for synthesizer and guitar. From there it was a short step to other instrumental covers—notably The 13th Floor Elevators’ “You’re Going to Miss Me.” Other favorite bands (“It’s easier to name bands than songs,” Fountain says) include the Electric Prunes and the Moving Sidewalks.

“From there we just really got into buying all these old ‘60s compilations albums and digging up real obscure material and doing those,” Fountain said. “That’s where our sound got started. At first we tried to make it sound just like those songs but finally we just said let’s go and do our own kind of music.

“It turned out to be more dance music, mostly simple four-chord songs. It’s got a lot of the same appeal as rockabilly. It doesn’t take much for a garage band to play, it doesn’t take a lot of talent.

“It’s still about girls and cars and stuff. It’s that period when the drugs were almost starting to take effect. It’s certainly not the Jefferson Airplane or Jimi Hendrix but it’s where they came from. We’re just trying to capture that same feel.

“What it was was all these small-time bands trying to play like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. This is what came out. They failed, but they wound up making something better.”

The Walls aren’t really a garage band, they’re more of a basement band. “Inner Side” was recorded on a four-track box in Otis’ basement. Mark Shipman, former sound man for the Philisteens, produced.

“Really, the most amazing thing about this whole deal is that we’ve gotten everything done almost for free,” Otis said.

  Albuquerque Tribune, July 26, 1985

Last gig for Crawling Walls will be benefit

Albuquerque post-psychedelic band Crawling Walls will perform its final concert at a benefit for the People's Anti-CrueltyAssociation on Tuesday at the Northwest Corral.

Walls leader Bob Fountain is reportedly moving to the East Coast for a music teaching post.

Other bands performing at the benefit, which will start at 7:30 p.m., will include the Glamourines and Mike Glover and Shout, featuring a former Philisteen in a new setting.

The Northwest Corral is located at 7901 Fourth St. N.W.

  Albuquerque Journal, July 28, 1985

Crawling Walls Revive ‘Garage Psychedelic’

THE CRAWLING WALLS will headline a benefit concert at 8 p.m. Tuesday for the People’s Anti-Cruelty Association, a group against cruelty to animals. The concert will be at the Northwestern Corral, 7901 N. 4th St. The show will also feature Michael Glover and Shout.

By Nancy Harbert

Journal Correspondent

Rock sounds reminiscent of the 1960s can be heard on any given evening emanating from Larry Otis’ basement in Albuquerque’s Southeast Heights.

The songs won’t remind you of such famous musicians of that era as Peter, Paul and Mary or Jimi Hendrix. But they are a throwback to such ‘60s bands as the Kingsmen, the Electric Prunes, Question Mark and the Mysterians and the Standells.

Bob Fountain, keyboard player for the Crawling Walls, describes the music as “1960s garage psychedelic music with a 1980s flavor.”

Although Otis, a 33-year-old guitar player, said he welcomes musicians interested in the revival of 1960s music to the basement.

Though the basement is the scene of a jam session, the central attraction found most nights is the Walls, a four-man band in rehearsal, with Otis on lead guitar.

The catchy title of the band is the result of a dream the 31-year-old Fountain had.

“The name has a double meaning,” he said. The urgency of crawling walls combined with the drug concept of hallucinating that the walls are crawling.

“In other words, when you crawl walls, you usually are trying to get out of the situation you are in,” he added.

Rounding out the band are drummer Bill Mudd, 24, and Carl Petersen, 22, who plays electric bass.

The band formed two years ago with Fountain, who does most of the singing, Otis, Nancy Martinez and Richard Perez. Martinez and Perez left the group earlier this year, but not until they had recorded a four-track album in Otis’ basement, which officially is known as Bottom Line Studios.

The album, title, “Inner Limits,” was released two months ago, which is about the time Mudd and Petersen joined the band. Despite the membership change, the band continued its commitment to the sounds of the 1960s, Otis said.

Mudd and Petersen, both from Los Alamos, have played together in other bands and therefore have formed a tight rhythm section, Otis added.

When the Walls crawl out of Otis’ basement, they play at dances and parties, but rarely at local bars.

Because the band does a lot of original tunes, Fountain said most bar owners don’t want to hire the group, preferring bands playing Top 40 songs.

Fountain, who last spring received a doctorate in statistics at the University of New Mexico, wrote all the songs on the group’s first album.

Music of the 1960s is not Fountain’s only obsession connected with that era. Paisleys—those popular patterns of colorful swirls on shirts and ties of the time—are a way of life for the affable Fountain.

To gigs he usually wears shirts awash in a paisley design. In keeping with the 1960s design theme, Fountain has attached black and white paisleys to his speaker cabinets and has the designs covering the top of his 1966 Vox Continental organ.

(Occasionally, Mudd wears a pendant showing a three-pronged peace symbol, which gained fame in the ‘60s.)

Fountain will be leaving the band this fall when he moves to San Antonio, Texas, where he has accepted a teaching position at the University of Texas branch there.

Regarding his replacement, the remaining members will have to “look for someone who wears paisleys,” he said.

In addition to its original tunes, the band plays once-popular songs such as “Dirty Water,” made famous in the mid-1960s by the Standells, and “Louie, Louie,” a 1963 hit by the Kingsmen.

Not surprisingly, the group admits bands such as these heavily influence their music.

Fountain plays the organ similar to the style heard on “96 Tears,” a hit by California band Question Mark and the Mysterians. Otis' leads border on psychedelic music, which has a heavy metal flavor to it.

One song on their album, titled, “Day Glow,” contains chords also found in “Louie, Louie.”

Other songs on the album have titles such as “Run Inside,” “Go-Go ’85,” and “The Brain That Wouldn’t Fry.”

Although their record is on sale in Albuquerque, Otis said the band’s biggest following is in Los Angeles, where they are booked to play Aug. 3 at the Cavern Club in Hollywood.

The record is being sold on the West Coast and overseas on the Bomp label, which is based in Los Angeles.

The record being sold in Albuquerque is on the Bottom line label. The labels are different because the band is distributing it locally.

“We’re not in it to make money or become famous, but to have a good time,” Fountain said.

Given Fountain’s importance to the band as musician, songwriter, and lead singer, the remaining members said they will decide soon whether the Crawling Walls will continue to be viable musicmakers.

Tickets for Tuesday’s benefit concert are $3 at the door.

  Rockerilla, July, 1985


“Inner Limits” Voxx



Con un titolo vagamente riecheggiante le perdute gesta dei gloriosi Chocolate Watchband, si presentano a noi i Crawling Walls, l’ultima scoperta in ordine di tempo della scuderia Voxx, diretta impagabilmente da quell’autentico prime mover che risponde al nome di Greg Shaw.

With a title vaguely echoing the lost glorious deeds of the Chocolate Watchband, appear to us the Crawling Walls, the latest discovery in time of the Voxx stable, directed supremely by that authentic prime mover by the name of Greg Shaw.

Sulle prime l'album mi ha lasciato un pó indifferente, ma poco per volta—sapete come succede—mi sono ritrovato ad ascoltarlo sempre più intensamente, segno che il lavoro è valido e che resiste all’’usurá del tempo.

At first the album left me a little bit indifferent, but little by little—you know how it happens—I found myself listening to it more and more intensely, a sign that the work is valid and that it resists usury of time.

I Crawling Walls sono una formazione del sud della California, che affonda una parte delle proprie radici anche nel sottostante Mexico (il disco è sta registrato ad Albuquerque, nel nuovo Mexico, e risente indubbiamente dell’influsso culturale di quel Paese). Come la musica del glorioso Sir Douglas Quintet, anche quella del Crawling Walls sembra essere influenzata dal tex mex, ma in maniera del tutto diversa rispetto agli illustri colleghi. La cosa è evidente soprattutto nell’uso dell'organo Farfisa, suonato dal cantante e compositore di tutti i brani Bob Fountain.

The Crawling Walls are forming in southern California, sinking a portion of its roots also in the underlying Mexico (the disc is recorded in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and undoubtedly reflects the cultural influence of that country). As the glorious music of Sir Douglas Quintet, also that of the Crawling Walls seems to be influenced by Tex Mex, but in a completely different way than their illustrious colleagues. This is evident especially in the use of the Farfisa organ, played by singer and composer of all the songs Bob Fountain.

Intendiamoci, non si tratta della prova discografica in assoluto più originale fornitaci dalla Voxx, ma di un album caldo e impregnato di buoni profumi questo si. Se a tutto ciò vorremo aggiungere la straordinaria tecnica strumentale del chitarrista Larry Otis, ci resteranno ancora pochi dubbi sull’opportunità o meno di acquistare il disco.

Mind you, it is not the most original trial record ever given us by Voxx, but this is an album steeped in hot and good scents. If at all we would like to add the extraordinary instrumental technique of guitarist Larry Otis, there will still be little doubt about whether to buy the disc.


  Stone Age News, August 2, 1985


The Fashion Frolics continue with THE LEAVING TRAINS, whose determined efforts to resist fashion have made them mavericks of the local garage scene for years now. This band’s mighty sound is only matched by their out-of-sync clothing (fringed leather jackets in ‘83?) and there’s no telling what they’ll come up with tonight.

From the desert sands of Albuquerque come the CRAWLING WALLS. Those of you who may wonder what sort of garage scene there could be in Albuquerque had better show up to check out what these guys are wearing—there’s no telling WHAT the thrift shops may hold in such a place! Our scene is growing so fast, every week brings some new development, and as we see what bands are wearing in other parts of the country, our own scene will become all the more diverse and challenging.

Also playing will be the Need, who still aren’t a Mod band. But just the same, we hope their own style of original, creative attire will prove acceptable to our discerning crowd.

(The above reviews are dedicated to the L.A. Weekly)

  Milwaukee Journal, August 18, 1985

THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL Sunday, August 18, 1985



Crawling Walls—“Inner Limits”—Voxx.

Be assured that listening to the music of Crawling Walls isn’t nearly as unpleasant as looking at this album’s cover. The jacket, which features a blue fright drawing of a giant bug eating a brain flanked by two women holding big eyeballs, will send most would-be listeners running back to the comfort of WKTI. but the record isn’t all that weird.

In fact, Crawling Walls is a pretty decent pop band. Its songs are quirky, original and fairly well-played. There are some boring underground clichés: a cheesy organ sound takes too much precedence over guitars, and singer Bob Fountain sounds a bit too much like Lou Reed. But if the group can ever focus on its own abilities rather than its association with the underground, this record suggests that it could turn as many heads as its cover art turns stomachs.


  Maximum RockNRoll, August, 1985

CRAWLING WALLS - “Inner Limits” LP

Organ-dominated neo-‘60’s punk that chugs along pretty well. At times, the guitar parts get a bit too rockish for my tastes, but the basic simplicity of the songs save it from degenerating too much. (TY)

(Voxx, 2702 San Fernando Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90065)

  The Austin Chronicle, November 15, 1985


Inner Limits

(Voxx Records)

Psychedelia continues into the ‘80s and will probably still be enticing central nervous systems well into the next century. The term “psychedelic,” coined by Humphrey Osmond in 1956, literally means mind-manifesting (from the Greek: psyche-mind, delein-to manifest.) Osmond proposed the term to fellow tripster Aldous Huxley with the following line, “To fathom hell or soar angelic, just take a pinch of psychedelic.”

Arguably one of the more accessible mind-manifesting pathways is music. Psychedelic music, like most good art, defies definition. What exactly do psychedelic bands like The Psychedelic Furs, the Electric Prunes, Green on Red and the Rain Parade have in common? Only a certain “sound” that is as diverse as it is recognizable, the psychedelic sound.

Extending, transforming, and paying homage to this peculiar musical blend of Halloween and philosophy is a new band, The Crawling Walls. With Inner Limits, they’ve dug back into the pre-1967, pre-“summer of love” psychedelic period for inspiration. Call it the “garage psychedelic” era. The Crawling Walls exploit the musical groove pioneered by bands like the Electric Prunes and Texas’ own Thirteenth Floor Elevators.

They are more “melodic” than the Elevators were. This is due primarily to songwriter Bob Fountain’s keyboard virtuosity. Making full use of synthesizers and modern recording techniques, he still captures that “cheesy, garage, electric organ” sound that was the sweet, trippy hook of so many mid-‘60s songs.

This record sounds good, achieving a synthesis of spontaneity and layered production that combines the best of the old with the new. The songs modulate from pure tripped out psychedelic in the title track to the sprightly, succubic macabre in “Day Glow,” with some appropriately inward-directed fun-poking in “The Brain That Wouldn’t Fry.”

Inner Limits has been favorably received in such far out reaches of the Psychedelic Kingdom as Rome, Italy. In Austin, which rivaled San Francisco for prominence on the nation’s audio-neurological topography during the golden, 60’s age of mind-manifestation, this album should strike some chords.

Mark Leon

  Forced Exposure, November, 1985



… with Korphu now relocated t’ Oakland, these scooters’re no doubt the best band in New Mexico. This’s not t’say that they’re the finest band on the planet, but LIMIT’s a pretty impressive debut. The band’s leader’s a guy called Bob Fountain who plays organ & whilst a keyboards-as-king disposition quite often indicates heavy suck action, such’s not the case here. Bob handles his Vox in a tastily integrative way (ala that instrument’s use by the Cunts) & it’s an extra bonnie day when ya find a neo-psych disk that’s ALL ORIGINALS the way this ‘un is. Who knows, mayhaps in fifteen yrs some young tucks’ll be doin’ a cover o’ the long-lost “Tell Me Why.” Hey? Hey.


  Option, November, 1985

THE CRAWLING WALLS: Inner Limits Psychedelia

at first glance; check the R.K. Sloane dripping eye/cosmic demon cover art. Garage rock at second glance; pumped-up Vox organ is the instrumental focal point. But midway through the second cut, “Inner limits,” you realize that it’s unfair to try to typecast this Albuquerque quartet. Tex-Mex crossed with camp-horror schtick passably describes “The Brain That Wouldn’t Fry.” Some Gothic organ pretensions lysergically lace “She’s So Wild.” “One Last Kiss” is the strongest cut, sounding a bit like the Lyres and answering the question, “What would ‘Get Ready’ have sounded like if Paul Revere & the Raiders and Tommy James & the Shondells had gotten together to jam on it?” Occasionally the ever-present organ begins to grate and you wish for some keyboard variety; yet the songwriting is distinctive, the playing loose and sometimes downright witty (a number of clever quotes), and the production thoroughly modern with an ear, of course, for the genres mentioned. (Voxx, 2702 San Fernando Rd., L.A., CA 90065)

Fred Mills

  San Antonio Express-News, December 20, 1985

Gift records for that music lover on the list

By JIM BEAL JR. Express-News Staff Writer

What follows is a purely arbitrary gift guide for those among us shopping for records. The records being reviewed here are related to each other simply because they were probably released in 1985, the music in the grooves stands up under repeated listening and most of them are fun.

Christmas time means Christmas records and, though the music has about a two-week per year life span, you can find holiday favorites done hundreds of ways.

“Inner Limits” -The Crawling Walls -Voxx Records

You can take all the synthesizers in the world, put ‘em all together, program them for a decade and play ‘em until all the extension cords in the world are burned to a crisp and you’ll never be able to duplicate the soul and life a Farfisa or Vox organ bring to heads-up, pretenses-down, good-times garage rock.

The Crawling Walls were from Albuquerque. They recorded and released “Inner Limits.” Then they broke up. But with that record, the band left behind 11 songs that sound like the 13th Floor Elevators meeting the earliest version of the Sir Douglas Quintet for an after-hours battle of the bands.

The music on “Inner Limits” is psychedelic garage rock driven by Vox organ, soaring guitar, steady rhythm, excellent singing and, most of all, fun.

When you listen -and dance to “Inner Limits,” you may be struck by the thought that less technology is better, synthesizers are no good at all and you do look better when you’re wearing paisley.


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