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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Various Artists

Inhale

Review by Gary Hill

Billed as a collection of “stoner rock”, this disc has a hard edged texture that is at once modern, while still having a classic rock feel to it. As with most various artists collections, it has its high points and its low points. Still, the disparity here is not nearly as great as on many compilations like this, with the vast majority of the songs here being far better than average.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Crow Bar-Dream Weaver
Ambient sorts of textures begin this one, then a deep, dark and very cool keyboard sound takes the rest of the intro. As the verse begins, it is in the form of a heavy and crunchy bass driven sort of style that mokes for a weird twist on this Gary Wright classic. This transformation of the cut is definitely successful, though, making for an intriguing piece. The only complaint is that it does seem to drag on a bit, but the original did, too.

Natas-Alohawaii
The intro to this cut has an almost early Pink Floyd feel to it, from their psychedelic era. It then shifts gear to a section that calls to mind Sabbath’s “Hole In The Sky”. Next it drops to a slower heavy section, again Sabbathish. This mode is the basis of the verse to the composition. The chorus, while still in the same distorted garage bandish format, has a great classic rock hook.

Supafuzz-Mr. Policeman
Based in a great, almost funky hard rock groove, the intro here really smokes. The chorus drops to a more sparse arrangement, but the killer riff returns as the chorus. The song features a great instrumental break with a very Zeppelinish texture. This is a strong cut.

Sixty Watt Shaman-Southern Gentleman
This one screams in, and takes off out of the gate running full throttle. It is a killer no-nonsense hard rock groove with a bit of a southern rock texture. It is a wonderful track with a lot of changes and a great classic rock sensibility.

Murder 1-Whole Lotta Rosie
A cover of the AC/DC classic, this one screams out from the get-go. It is a solid and straightforward performance.

Gunfighter-Anti-Hero
This one has a great slow and dark texture and a wonderful modern rock groove as it winds its way through the intro. As the verse hits, it is harder rocking and quite strong, perhaps a bit Mansonish, but with other elements thrown in..

Mammoth Volume-Seagull
Starting in a great classic hard rock sounding groove, this one quickly takes a jump toward the harder.. As the verse enters, the level drops. The cut really feels like a more modern take on a Black Sabbath sort of sound. It has a great retro sort of trippy instrumental break that feels a bit Hawkwindish at times.

Herbert-Devil’s Garden
A hard edged quick and gritty style makes up the mode of this cut. It features an awesome fast paced section that just screams. The track drops to a slower, evil and creepy sounding segment. With all its changes and great textures, this is one of the best cuts on the disc.

Bakerton Group-Mainstream
With an intro that has almost a prog rock sort of riffing going on, this one drops to a great slower groove that has a rhythm section that calls to mind Black Sabbath, while the wah wah guitar screams Hendrix. As the cut moves on, it is in a bluesy sort of jam, much like one of the extended musical adventures from Sabbath’s self titled disc. This section dissolves for a short time to near chaos, then comes back out newly refreshed and smoking. This is a great instrumental.
Sunride-Straightliner
This one has a raw, almost garage band sound, and a hard edged punky sort of texture. I could really see this one,. less polished, being played by the Dead Boys.

Terra Firma-High Horses
Another that has a strong Sabbath influence, this is fast paced classic sounding metal. It gets quite complex at times.

Mystick Krewe of Charlite-Railhead
This one has a Sabbathesque texture as well, in the bluesy sort of mode. The keyboards on the cut impart a Deep Purple leaning. This instrumental jam really cooks.

Rotors to Rust-Canaan
Another hard edged rocker, this one feels at times like Sabbath and at times like Hawkwind, but it always rocks in a great groove. The instrumental break particularly comes across as a hard edged Hawkwind.:

 
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