Sucking The 70's, Back In The Saddle Again

by Various Artists

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about

Hellride Music
It's time to get out your air guitars, brothers and sisters! The artists on this essential comp. make no bones about pledging allegiance to The Riff. In so doing, they show a thorough understanding of their roots. In which decade are these roots anchored? Methinks I hardly need to name it, but if you feel a strange urge to paint the album covers of 'Dark Side of the Moon' or 'Zozo' on the side of your boogie van after hearing this compilation, then you're gettin' it man, you're gettin' it!

The only really bad thing about 'Back in the Saddle' is that it's been four long years since it's ground breaking older brother, 'Sucking the 70s' came out. Hell, I could easily see one of these volumes coming out every year, never mind the work involved....Other than that, it's all a matter of taste, and as long as you're in the groove, you'll find something to love on this new one. There's tons of variety. First off are the most outstanding tunes, firsts among equals. There's a big handful, including Colour Haze's take on 'One Way or Another' (NOT Blondie, but Cactus), Acid King's psychedelic doomed-out version of Steve Miller's 'The Stake,' which to the unschooled could easily seem like an original composition, Novadriver's 'Sin City,' which sounds as bratty as Robin Zander wearing 80s Angus Young horns and painting graffiti on an nunnery, not to mention Throttlerod's whipcrack cover of Willie Dixon's 'I Just Wanna Make Love To You,' as first interpreted by Foghat. Which btw was their best song, 'Slow Ride' notwithstanding (RIP Lonesome Dave). And let's not forget Roadsaw's awe-inspiring version of Zep's 'When the Levee Breaks,' which achieves the near-impossible feat of besting the original, mainly because Robert Plant is so annoying. In my opinion, of course.

Yes, this album is about re-interpreting and re-defining, not simply covering. The vast majority of these groups - which are mostly (but not exclusively) SmallStone artists - succeed beyond anyone's expectations. Sure, there are some clunkers. Los Natas, a group whose output I have collected assiduously and enjoyed thoroughly since the late 90s, stumbles on their curiously wooden 'Born to Be Wild.' There are some songs - 'Dreamweaver' and 'Honky Cat' come to mind - which I could cheerfully never hear again. However, given Valis' and Halfway to Gone's reinterpretations of these FM staples, I can at least say that I can tolerate these songs for the first time in many years. Sadly, Whitey Morgan and the Waycross Georgia Farmboys' novelty country take on 'Running with the Devil' doesn't do anything for one of the few Van Halen songs I can actually stand.

Part of the fun of this compilation is getting to hear new work from old friends thought long defunct. This collection boats tuneage from Halfway to Gone, Roadsaw, and Red Giant. Rumors and facts surrounding these groups' dissolution have been floating around for quite some time, so it's good to see'em back with some recent material.

Granted, this is not the ground breaker that the first one was, back in '02. How could it be? But as a document in a continuing series showcasing superior musician's re-working and re-interpretation of classic heavy 70s grooves, it makes perfect sense. How about a comp. of takes on late 70s punk? Orange Goblin shows us the way on 'Back to the Saddle' with their great cover of The Damned's 'New Rose.' Or maybe a prog collection? There are endless fields of heaviness yet to be mined. One more thing: harvesting all this talent was no mean feat, and we owe big ups to the label for taking the time to do such a splendid job. Cheers!

Kevin McHugh

credits

released 15 October 2006

Side 1:
Sasquatch - Are You Ready
Puny Human - Crazy Horses
Clutch & Five Horse Johnson - Red Hot Mama
Dixie Witch - Rock Candy
The Brought Low - Don't Lie To Me
Novadriver - Sin City
Colour Haze - One Way Or Another
Alabama Thunderpussy - Man On The Silver Mountain
Dozer - Mongoloid
Acid King - The Stake
Halfway To Gone - Honky Cat
Antler - Those Shoes
Brad Davis (Fu Manchu) - Outlaw Man
Gideon Smith & The Dixie Damned - Season Of The Witch
Whitey Morgan and The Waycross Georgia Farmboys - Running With The Devil

Side 2:
Throttlerod - I Just Wanna Make Love To You
Red Giant - Saturday Night Special
A Thousand Knives Of Fire - Bonie Maronie
The Glasspack - Rock n Roll Singer
Roadsaw - When The Levee Breaks
Greatdayforup - Super Stupid
Fireball Ministry - Turn to Stone
Los Natas - Born To Be Wild
Scott Reeder - Two Of Us
Orange Goblin - New Rose
Mos Generator - Garden Road
Honky - Snortin' Whiskey
The Muggs - I Don't Need No Doctor
Amplified Heat - Neighbor, Neighbor
RPG - Parchment Farm
Valis - Dreamweaver

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