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Merrell Fankhauser & H.M.S. Bounty

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After cutting some fine folk-rock and psychedelia on ultra-rare records with his group the Exiles, guitarist, singer, and songwriter Merrell Fankhauser moved to Los Angeles, retitled his backing group H.M.S. Bounty, and recorded a fine, if obscure, slice of pop-psychedelia in 1968, Things. The diverse offerings on the group's sole LP recalled such fellow Californian heavyweights as the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Moby Grape, and even Captain Beefheart. They weren't quite in the same league as those legends, but the album has a light and enigmatic air all its own, and is well worth investigation by fans of late-'60s West Coast psychedelia. The group evolved into the interesting mystical avant-garde/blues/progressive rock group Mu in the early '70s. ~ Richie Unterberger

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