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Various - Sucking the 70's-Back in the Saddle Again

  by Andrew Carver

published: 7 / 6 / 2007

Various - Sucking the 70's-Back in the Saddle Again
Label: Small Stone Records
Format: CD


Appealing second double CD compilation from Detroit stoner rock label Small Stone, which finds several of its acts and their like-minded friends once more playing covers of songs by 70's guitar acts such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Grand Funk and Rush

Back in 2002, Detroit stoner rock label Small Stone released ‘Sucking the 70's’ with label outfits and their like-minded friends knocking out 35 tunes from that decade (or thereabouts). Everyone must have had fun, because they’ve done it again, with ‘Sucking the 70's- Back In the Saddle Again’. The usual suspects are back, both on the songwriting and performing side: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Grand Funk, Rush and their peers get the once over from Small Stone stalwarts like Antler, Sasquatch and Valis and likeminded rockers. Speaking of Sasquatch, they start things off with a cover of Grand Funk’s ‘Are You Ready’; great band though they are, they don’t do it justice – the guitar tone lacks the heft of their albums. Fortunately things pick up quick with Puny Human taking on the Osmonds’ bizarro drug anthem ‘Crazy Horses’. Other high points include the excellent Dixie Witch, who hit all the right notes on Montrose’s ‘Rock Candy’ (and with a production that’s somewhat improved over their last album, one might note). Thousand Knives of Fire sound like a band having a lot of fun on their cover of ‘Bonie Maronie’. Acid King’s take on The Steve Miller Band’s ‘Stake’ is suitably spacey, with Lori S. providing some relief from the legion of bearded weirdoes as the lone female vocal presence on the comp (though it should be noted that, contrary to the liners, the tune was written by Steve Miller Band guitarist David Denny, not the Space Cowboy himself). Fireball Ministry’s sinewy take on Joe Walsh’s ‘Turn to Stone’ obviously takes its cues from the solo guitarist’s tough-sounding ‘Barnstorm’ version. Roadsaw give ‘When The Levee Breaks’ a serious workout with some great harmonica. As for the featured bands, AC/DC get a twofer; Nova Driver do a killer version of ‘Sin City’, while Glasspack turn in an unremarkable ‘Rock’n’Roll Singer’ (if you were wondering, yes, the singing is half the problem). There are a few left-field entries: Clutch and Five Horse Johnson team up to drag race through an early Parliament tune ‘Red Hot Mama’ and Greatdayforup get funky on a second hit from George Clinton’s crew with ‘SuperStupid’. Orange Goblin smashes its way through The Damned’s ‘New Rose’, the Brought Low confirm the greatness exhibited on their latest album with a terrific version of Big Star’s ‘Don’t Lie To Me’ and Dozer have some fun with Devo’s ‘Mongoloid’, though the tune does surrender some of its deviant pizzazz to the Detroit rockers’ heavier treatment. Elton John’s ‘Honky Cat’ loses one of its nine lives to Halfway to Gone. The tune works surprisingly well as a piano-free, fuzzy hard rocker. Best of all is the Muggs’ cover of Ashford and Simpson’s ‘I Don’t Need No Doctor’ (we’ll just ignore the fact that the tune itself dates from the 1960's and pretend we’ve only heard the Humble Pie cover ...). We’ll also ignore Gideon Smith and The Dixie Damned’s cover of another 1960's tune, Donovan’s ‘Season of the Witch’, because Smith’s goofy vocals overwhelm a compelling instrumental background. Whitey Morgan and The Waycross Georgia Farmboys’ countrified take on Van Halen’s ‘Running With the Devil’ can best be described as interesting. Los Natas’ cover of Steppenwolf’s ‘Born to be Wild’ is only lukewarm – not too surprising, since they’re a band whose strength lies in drawn out space jams, not Top 40 rockers. The same crowd who picked up the first volume can be assured that its descendant carries on the tradition in fine style, but, if you’re not interested in 1970's hard rock, you can give it a wide berth.

Track Listing:-
1 Sasquatch- Are You Ready
2 Puny Human- Crazy Horses
3 Clutch & Five Horse Johnson- Red Hot Mama
4 Dixie Witch- Rock Candy
5 The Brought Low- Don't Lie To Me
6 Novadriver- Sin City
7 Colour Haze- One Way Or Another
8 Alabama Thunderpussy- Man On The Silver Mountain
9 Dozer- Mongoloid
10 Acid King- The Stake
11 Halfway To Gone- Honky Cat
12 Antler- Those Shoes
13 Brad Davis (Fu Manchu)- Outlaw Man
14 Gideon Smith & The Dixie Damned- Season Of The Witch
15 Whitey Morgan And The Waycross Georgia Farmboys- Running With The Devil
16 Throttlerod- I Just Wanna Make Love To You
17 Red Giant- Saturday Night Special
18 A Thousand Knives Of Fire- Bonie Maronie
19 The Glasspack -Rock N Roll Singer
20 Roadsaw- When The Levee Breaks
21 Greatdayforup -Super Stupid
22 Fireball Ministry- Turn To Stone
23 Los Natas- Born To Be Wild
24 Scott Reeder- Two Of Us
25 Orange Goblin- New Rose
26 Mos Generator- Garden Road
27 Honky- Snortin' Whiskey
28 The Muggs- I Don't Need No Doctor
29 Amplified Heat- Neighbor, Neighbor
30 RPG- Parchment Farm
31 Valis- Dreamweaver

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