The Ten Best Texas Psychedelic Rock Albums

Categories: Best Of

Moving Sidewalks. Photo by Galen Scott
Most people have heard of psychedelic rock -- a mid '60s music closely associated with the psychedelia counterculture. But what you might not know is that its roots started right here in Texas, with 13th Floor Elevators frontman Roky Erickson first using the term almost fifty years ago in 1965. Since then the psych tag has taken on a life of its own, splintering into a countless array of sub-genres, scenes and new musical trends. Still, nothing's been quite like the classic psychedelic rock from the early period. From its first steps to Austin's internationally attended Psych Fest, Texas has always been at the heart of psychedelic rock (regardless of what the West Coast says). In celebration of this fact, but mostly just because it's really, fucking good music, we're running down our ten favorite Texas psychedelic rock records (in reverse order).

10. Green - Green
Let's start with a Dallas band. Green fall into the pop side of the psych spectrum, borrowing more from British folk and The Kinks than from the heavy end, as most Texas psychedelic rock did. The moods are light and the atmospheres hazy. As a result, the tracks are gorgeously enchanting, especially on repeated listens. While the songs don't exactly cut deep, the set's sleepy currents, wistful tone, and tasteful horns have an uncanny knack for pulling the listener into Green's euphoric ebb and flow.

9. Power Plant -- The Golden Dawn
When people think of psychedelic rock they're usually thinking about records like Power Plant. It's in albums like this that fleets of neo-psychedelic bands found a way to earn extra money on the weekends (or get a an 8.5 score in Pitchfork, whatever). All the kitschy characteristics are here - wobbly tape effects, lyrics concerning new age spirituality, fey strumming - but damn, did these Austin boys make a nice package out of it. The melodies take weeks to leave the blood stream, making it a far better deal than the countless joints rolled on its trippy, floral jacket.

8. Creation, a Child - Corpus
Corpus Christi's Corpus eschewed hippie psych rock's ornate structures, opting for slow burning metallic-infused psych instead (with some rockabilly thrown in for good measure). Apart from the spidery guitar solos, Creation, a Child's sounds tend to drift, linger, then settle, making them more trance-like than - as with most psych rock - kaleidoscopic. In short, these guys were listening to a lot of Zeppelin and Sabbath. The lyrics center on love and longing ("Marriage," "We Can Make It, Luv," "Where is She"), and while that may seem cliche, the delivery is of such genuineness that their poignant, not hackneyed.


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Southwest FOB - Smell of Incense

The late Zeke Durell on drums

 Dan Seals played vocals and sax while John Ford Coley played on keyboards. This song was a #56 hit in October of 1968 on the Billboard pop chart!


One man's list

One man's lash

Take the brown acid

Speed weed or hash

-If you're really hip

Take two

Good trip

bad trip

What's it to you?


What? No Zakary Thaks?  Well, actually they only released three singles and no albums, but their first single "Bad Girl" is one of the coolest songs to EVER come out of Texas -


I lived through the era too, and still love the music from time to time. It was a pretty creative time for rock. You didn't have to have any sort of lifestyle to appreciate it, just have an open mind. That's a good list. 


Having lived through the Psychedelic era, I can safely say, this music sucked.  Yes, some of us thought we were of the counter culture, but most we nothing but weekend Hippies.  There is only one exception, I applaud the mention of Roky Erickson.  He has withstood the test of time, schizophrenia, and tons of drugs. 


@tjkeim1 I agree , Zakary Thaks are way up there , as far as Texas Garage music in general is concerned....Though I'd only call a few of their songs "Psychedelic" . They were one on many bands from that era that did'nt have an "Album" out , until much later , when they were comped (On Moxie , Cicadelic , and others.)


@secretdna good lord get that crap off the net. this is a music blog not a torture chamber


@kergo1spaceship Did Hash Palace have a full length album on Rockadelic?   I knew some of those guys , but, I was'nt living in Dallas, anymore , when they started the group . I saw them once , and I liked them , but , I did'nt care too much for their album on Resonance. If they did something earlier , I'd like to hear it. 

If somebody wants to make a list of modern Texas Psych albums ( As opposed to mid-late 60's , which , granted , is where they needed to start , and I like the list , personally , though , I might have made a few changes, not many , myself.), I think they'd need to start with "Aneurysm" , Lithium Xmas' first , cassette - only , release. 

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