4 of the Most Underrated Psychedelic Rock Bands of All Time

Psychedelic rock’s heyday may have passed, but there are still so many musicians, young and old, who have kept the genre alive. These four underrated psychedelic rock bands include one newer band and three that peaked during the golden era of psychedelic rock in California, and all of them deserve some recognition.

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1. Big Brother And The Holding Company

Casual fans of Janis Joplin may not know that she was a core member of the band Big Brother And The Holding Company. The San Fransisco-based outfit often flies under the radar when fans talk about the golden era of psychedelic rock, and they deserve a lot more recognition for their contributions. The 1968 album Cheap Thrills is essential listening.

2. Quicksilver Messenger Service

Quicksilver Messenger Service is another underrated psychedelic rock band from San Fransisco that was around during the 1960s. They were extremely popular locally, but they deserved international recognition. The band is technically still around today, but there was nothing quite like the original lineup. Give their debut self-titled album from 1968 and Happy Trails from 1969 a listen, preferably in that order.

3. Country Joe And The Fish

This Berkeley, California psych-rock outfit managed to chart with the single “Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine”. However, the real quality is found in the band’s more experimental tracks. I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die from 1967 is a must-listen for any psychedelic rock fan in need of some underrated records to add to their collection.

4. Kikagaku Moyo

When it comes to modern psych-rock outfits that were keeping the genre alive, Kikagaku Moyo was one of the most underrated. The group began in 2012 in Tokyo, Japan, and disbanded in 2022. Their music was a very unique take on the genre. Any of their five studio albums are worth a listen, as well as the 2021 collaborative EP Deep Fried Grandeur.

Photo by Tucker Ransom

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