by Brian Varney
Dollars for donuts, this is probably the best stoner rock compilation available. For $12.99, you get 28 tracks spread over two CDs (plus a pretty-funny phone message tacked onto the end). I haven’t heard of a lot of these bands and I’m supposed to be an expert on this stuff, so chances are most of these bands will be new to you.
I’m generally not a fan of such compilations. Bands don’t usually want to lose a good song to a compilation, so they don’t always submit a song that’s representative, let alone good. Also, I prefer albums. One song isn’t usually enough for me to get a feeling for what a band’s trying to do. Maybe I’m just slow, but I need at least two to three songs before I can tell if I like a band.
Of course, it’s easy for me to say all of this because I’m already fairly familiar with most of the bands in the stoner rock genre. If I was a neophyte and didn’t know where to start, this would probably be a godsend. For a mere pittance, you get tracks by genre titans such as Solace, Men Of Porn, Mushroom River Band, Solarized, Taildragger, Raging Slab, Puny Human, Astroqueen, and Five Horse Johnson, among others. And the really great thing about this compilation is that all of the artists I just mentioned have at least one full-length release available on another label, so if you find something that really flicks your switch, you have a name to follow. And, inevitably, that name will lead you to another name, which will lead you to another, etc. etc., and then you’ll be off into it.
I won’t lie and tell you that I like every song on here. You probably won’t, either. But that’s not the point of such a compilation. The point is to present a variety of bands and styles, to let you experience as much as possible in order to lead you to bands you might not have otherwise found. And, on these terms, Judge Not does just fine. Other bands included: The Quill, Bozeman’s Simplex, Calamus, Ironboss, Gammera, Volume, Plaster, Pale Divine, Zerocharisma, Traumatic, Syrup, Buzzard, Mustasch, Smoke in Sunshine, The Satellite Circle, Bongwater666, Half Man, and Doubleneck.
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