“Warren’s freakin’ out in the gallery,” was one of many monumental lines from the 1968 AIP Haight Ashbury exploitation flick Psych Out, starring the yet-to-be-famous Jack Nicholson as a wide-eyed commune living hippie who falls for a deaf innocent lost in a crazy “new world” inhabited by freaks, trippers and beautiful people. Indeed, a few key tracks from Shindig! faves The Higher State’s third album, Freakout At The Gallery (which points a knowing finger at Stoney and his gang) could have sat on the film’s soundtrack alongside The Seeds and The Strawberry Alarm Clock. ‘A Thousand Yards’ sees Marty incanting over a sitar-laced raga, equal parts David Crosby, Marty Balin and Sky Saxon.
Subtle inspiration has never been these guys’ thang, but if you’re in the market for 12 authentic period pieces that rank alongside anything (yes, “anything”!) from “that era” we all love so much, then this is a record to get very excited about. ‘Hey In There’ fuses blues, honky tonk piano, sweet harmonies and country twang together in a manner no other band in 2011 could pull off . Is it Moby Grape, The Lovin’ Spoonful, Hearts & Flowers? For the main part, Freakout At The Gallery mixes up folk and country-rock, mystical psychedelia and West Coast pop/rock. More Younger Than Yesterday than 5D. More Easter Everywhere than Psychedelic Sounds… And it’s bloody great. The sleeve says it all. Yes, you certainly can judge this book by its cover.
- Jon ‘Mojo’ Mills, Shindig Magazine
"Featuring ex-members of two great but now-deceased UK combos, the Mystreated and the Embrooks, the Higher State channel American garage and psych circa 1966-68, and do it exceptionally well." - Mike Stax, Ugly Things Magazine.