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STRAWBERRY ZOTS (Buy CDs by this artist)
Cars, Flowers, Telephones (Acid Test) 1989 (RCA) 1990

Despite the colorful name and day-glo artwork, smattering of righteous covers and the fact that the Albuquerque quintet originally self-released it, Cars, Flowers, Telephones has almost none of the cool character one usually expects from retro-psychedelicatelics. (Little wonder the LP was reissued by a major label and promoted as part of the imitation-Redd Kross '60s revival.) Evidently inspired by no one so much as Paul Revere and the Raiders, the Zots play pleasant collegiate power pop, like Blotto without the overt satire, and mild-mannered '60s-styled rock, using organ, wah-wah guitar and songs by the Troggs, Electric Prunes, etc. in a halfhearted stab at elusive cultural resonance. Feh.

[Ira Robbins]