Thursday, April 28, 2011

Play It Again: Sucking The 70s - Volume I & II

I discovered these pair of awesome throw-back to the 70s releases about a year ago, and have since been thoroughly enjoying these modernized classics. Small Stone Records collected the best of of the bands under their label and gave them some of the best songs of the 70s to put their heart and soul into. The best thing about this idea is most of these acts are qualified as 'retro-rock' bands, and so most of these covers don't sound out of place at all. Blues-stoner acts jamming out blues rock songs sound perfectly at home, no chance of a waver or misstep.

These albums are carried by two points, the original song quality, and the skill of the band covering them. Songs that you know and love from the 70s get proper justice here, and the few lesser known songs (I had never heard of Leaf Hound or Big Star before) that get an overhaul are of equal footing. Not every song within Sucking The 70s is truly amazing, but enough of it is to wow any audience.

To keep things simple, I'm just going to list all of the songs on the albums, with the ones I love in bold, and the very few I can't stand in italics, everything else is just ok. The list is organized by: Covering Band - "Song Title" (Original Band), to keep it simple to understand.

Sucking The 70s
I discovered this album first, a few days before the other and found it amazing. A few of these songs I had already, either on the respective act's releases or in some other special edition collection, but that didn't dim my excitement at having so many classic songs in one release. Personal favorites (above and beyond the bolded collection) are; "Cross Eyed Mary," "I Don't Have To Hide," and "Workin Man."

Disc 1
  1. Five Horse Johnson - "Never In My Life" (Mountain)
  2. Throttlerod - "Black Betty" (Ram Jam)
  3. Dixie Witch - "On The Hunt" (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
  4. Clutch - "Cross Eyed Mary" (Jethro Tull)
  5. The Glasspack - "T.V. Eye" (The Stooges)
  6. The Last Vegas - "Free For All" (Ted Nugent)
  7. Halfway To Gone - "Can't You See" (Marshall Tucker Band)
  8. Suplecs - "Working Man" (Rush)
  9. Puny Human - "Travellin' Band/Suzy Is a Headbanger" (Creedence Clearwater Revival/The Ramones)
  10. Raging Slab - "We're An American Band" (Grand Funk Railroad)
  11. Los Natas - "Brainstorm" (Hawkwind)
  12. The Heads - "For Madmen Only" (May Blitz)
  13. Lamont - "Nasty Dogs & Funky Kings" (ZZ Top)
  14. Backdraft - "Child Of Babylon" (Whitesnake)
  15. Black Nasa - "I Dont Have To Hide" (Bachman–Turner Overdrive)
  16. Warped - "Dog Eat Dog" (AC/DC)
  17. Hangnail - "Bron-yr-stomp" (Led Zeppelin)
Disc 2
  1. Roadsaw - "Vehicle" (The Ides of March)
  2. Novadriver - "20th Century Boy" (T.Rex)
  3. Alabama Thunderpussy - "Hymn 43" (Jethro Tull)
  4. Disengage - "Communication Breakdown" (Led Zeppelin)
  5. Porn (The Men Of) - "Out On The Weekend" (Neil Young)
  6. Milligram - "Rumblin' Man" (Cactus)
  7. Tummler - "Working For MCA" (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
  8. Fireball Ministry - "Doctor Doctor" (UFO)
  9. Spirit Caravan - "Wicked World" (Black Sabbath)
  10. Lowrider - "Freelance Fiend" (Leaf Hound)
  11. The Mushroom River Band - "Walk Away" (The James Gang)
  12. Broadsword - "Woman Tamer" (Sir Lord Baltimore)
  13. Doubleneck - "Don't Blow Your Mind" (Alice Cooper)
  14. Lord Sterling - "Black To Comm" (MC5)
  15. The Brought Low - "Till The Next Goodbye" (The Rolling Stones)
  16. Scott Reeder - "Don't Call Us, We'll Call You" (Sugarloaf)
  17. Tectonic Break - "How Can You Win" (Parish Hall)
  18. Gideon Smith & The Dixie Damned - "The Pusher" (Steppenwolf)
Sucking the 70's – Back In The Saddle Again
Released four years after the first volume, for Back In The Saddle Again, it seems like Small Stone was reaching a bit too far for another collection of cover songs. This volume takes a while to get into a notable form. Besides a couple of decent songs, the collection doesn't pick up until the end of the first disc, and drops off considerably by the mid-point of the second. There enough great covers to warrant a new collection, but Back In The Saddle Again really doesn't compare to the previous release.
Special award goes to Acid King, for their rendition of "The Stake." It's done in such a way that other then the basic guitar lick I probably wouldn't have recognized the song at all. They turned a poppy-rock song into a chugging stoner/doom masterpiece. On the opposite end, Gideon Smith & The Dixie Damned get a mention for turning the amazing rock song "Runnin With The Devil" into a southern/blues/bluegrass version. A kind of neat idea, but a bastardization of a classic.

Disc 1
  1. Sasquatch - "Are You Ready" (Grand Funk Railroad)
  2. Puny Human - "Crazy Horses" (The Osmonds)
  3. Clutch & Five Horse Johnson - "Red Hot Mama" (Funkadelic)
  4. Dixie Witch - "Rock Candy" (Montrose)
  5. The Brought Low - "Don't Lie to Me" (Big Star)
  6. Novadriver - "Sin City" (AC/DC)
  7. Colour Haze - "One Way or Another" (Cactus)
  8. Alabama Thunderpussy - "Man on the Silver Mountain" (Rainbow)
  9. Dozer - "Mongoloid" (Devo)
  10. Acid King - "The Stake" (Steve Miller Band)
  11. Halfway to Gone - "Honky Cat" (Elton John)
  12. Antler - "Those Shoes" (Eagles)
  13. Fu Manchu - "Outlaw Man" (Eagles)
  14. Gideon Smith & the Dixie Damned - "Season of the Witch" (Donovan)
  15. Whitney Morgan and the Waycross Georgia Farmboys - "Runnin' With the Devil" (Van Halen)
Disc 2
  1. Throttlerod - "I Just Wanna Make Love to You" (Foghat)
  2. Red Giant - "Saturday Night Special"( Lynyrd Skynyrd)
  3. A Thousand Knives of Fire - "Bonie Maronie"(Ritchie Valens)
  4. The Glasspack - "Rock 'n' Roll Singer" (AC/DC)
  5. Roadsaw - "When the Levee Breaks" (Led Zeppelin)
  6. Greatdayforup - "Super Stupid" (Funkadelic)
  7. Fireball Ministry - "Turn to Stone" (Joe Walsh)
  8. Los Natas - "Born to Be Wild" (Steppenwolf)
  9. Scott Reeder - "Two of Us" (The Beatles)
  10. Orange Goblin - "New Rose" (The Damned)
  11. Mos Generator - "Garden Road" (by Rush)
  12. Honky - "Snortin' Whiskey" (by The Pat Travers Band)
  13. The Muggs - "I Don't Need No Doctor" (Humble Pie)
  14. Amplified Heat - "Neighbor, Neighbor" (ZZ Top)
  15. RPG - "Parchment Farm" (Cactus)
  16. Valis - "Dreamweaver" (Gary Wright)

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