Fat Mattress: S/T (1969)

Taking another walk through the Obscure Psychedelia shelf in my library... short-lived UK act Fat Mattress were probably best known at the time for the presence of Jimi Hendrix Experience bassist Noel Redding, who played guitar and shared vocal duties here while not busy with Jimi. (Indeed, on a Hendrix US tour, Fat Mattress were the opening act, with Redding serving double-duty in both slots... impressive!)

The album is a blend of pre-prog sounds, psychedelia with strains of folk and R&B, probably not far afield from Traffic and Mighty Baby (with nods to US bands like Kaleidoscope and Moby Grape).

Opener "All Night Drinker" leans to the band's bluesier side, and I tend to skip it in favor of the more psych-like explorations, moving on to the much poppier "I Don't Mind," upbeat light-psych. The trippy "Mr. Moonshine" is a stand-out, maybe the most deliberately psychedelic; "She Came In The Morning" and "How Can I Live?" mine similar territory, Nuggets-worthy lost gems ideal for kicking back with some headphones. Other tunes lean more on old-time British folk, pretty little pieces like "Bright New Way" and "Walking Through A Garden," or rock out a bit, like the Byrdsy "Petrol Pump Assistant."

It's all a bit dated, of course, a souvenir of its time, but worth a listen for 60s psych fans. The CD reissue appends a bunch of additional tracks, not bad but not essential. (The 1970 follow-up, Fat Mattress II, wasn't much different, and is better than the critical slagging suggests.)

Here's a performance of "Mr. Moonshine":

...and "Magic Forest":
Audio rip of "How Can I Live?":