• Vipers
  • Outta the Nest (PVC) 1984 
  • How About Somemore? (Midnight) 1988 
  • Not So Pretty ... Not So New [tape] (Midnight) 1988 
  • Nest in Peace (Skyclad) 1989 

Rather than discuss the relevance or validity of the entire garage-rock-cum-psychedelic revival — bands who dress up like 1967 and play tambourines and fuzzed guitar — I’ll just note that New York’s Vipers were one of the leading lights of said movement. Suffice to say Outta the Nest sounds precisely like your (best/worst) memories of mid-’60s American rock, from the Seeds to the Standells to the Shadows of Knight. The Vipers write good tunes that sound properly dated and play them with equally stylized vim. The production could be better, but that’s the idea. As they sing in the lead-off track, “Nothing’s from Today.” (Five years later, a remixed, remastered and expanded — by two LP tracks, plus a bonus 7-inch of two more — edition of the Vipers’ first album was issued, in a new sleeve and on white vinyl, as Nest in Peace.)

In the meantime, a new lineup — retaining only guitarist David Mann and singer Jonithan Weiss — made an all-original-material second album, which was released in a limited edition with a bonus three-song EP and quickly reissued with a different cover. Taking its cues from both the Yardbirds and the Raiders and making blatant derivation sound like the latest invention, How About Somemore? is every bit as cool as Nest, with the added benefit of far better production. Not So Pretty…Not So New, a 20-track cassette of previously unreleased demos and outtakes dating from 1981 to 1985, has mediocre sound quality but loads of otherwise unavailable Vipers originals.

[Ira Robbins]