Formed in 1978, as the spirit of ’77 faded, London based Mxyztplk (originally Groop IV) found their direction scavenging record shop bargain bins where they discovered a sonic cornucopia of mid ‘60s bands who had been sidelined by the prog and stadium rock excesses of the 1970s.
The band drew inspiration from British ‘60s psychedelia, such as Syd Barrett’s Pink Floyd, Soft Machine, The Yardbirds and The Creation and often played at experimental film evenings. Their first studio recordings were made around 1980, by chance under the auspices of 1960s engineer/producer George Chkiantz, who had worked with The Small Faces and Jimi Hendrix.They adopted a new name for 1982 – Mxyztplk, derived from DC Comics’ Superman. This unpronounceable moniker led to some notoriety, a mention by John Peel and outraged letters appearing in the music press. Regularly headlining The Rock Garden, further gigs followed, including Dingwalls, Jackson's Lane, Upstairs at Ronnie Scott’s, The Clarendon and the new psychedelic club, Alice in Wonderland. The band was about to be signed by post-punk label Human Records, when the company went bust and the newly recorded tapes were almost lost. Instead, they self-released a cassingle and were featured in a compilation album alongside The Sex Gang Children.
Their growing audience sometimes included Charlie Harper (UK Subs) and Rat Scabies (The Damned). Though things were progressing, two band members left to go to university and no format was found to re-invigorate the band. Here is a testament to that brief, rare hybrid of punk infused psychedelic rebellion.
1. Rush Hour (1982 Mxyztplk version)
2. Celia (Mxyztplk version)
4. O Foolish Pride (Groop IV version)
5. Snail in a Shell
7. Over and Again
8. Madmen, Villains and Fools
9. Celia (Groop IV version)
10. Rush Hour (Groop IV version)
11. Spectator Sport
12. Mandrake Root
13. O Foolish Pride (Mxyztplk version)
14. Sweet Desire
16. Stand Up
17. Green and Pleasant Land
18. Still Waiting
19. Thin Obsession
20. Getting to Me (This Dirty place)
21. Something’s Missing - Juke Box Fury