High Volume – Review

High Volume

The Stoner Rock Collection (High Times)
by Brian Varney

I’m a big fan of a lot of the stuff released under the admittedly nebulous heading of “stoner rock,” but I’m pretty wary of being placed alongside people who read and take High Times seriously. In any case, I have misgivings about counting myself among the targeted folks for this release. F’rinstance, the label decided to release this collection on 4/20 (dude). While this is bone-crushingly embarrassing for me, there are no doubt people in this same group who think is this is totally cool or righteous or bodacious.

I generally try not to let such non-musical concerns bother me, but I haven’t been entirely successful. I like quite a bit of the music contained on this compilation, so I guess I should just shut up and accept good music when it’s given to me, right? For anyone who’s read stonerrock.com or shopped at their All That’s Heavy online music store, the artists on this collection are all familiar. However, almost all of the songs are non-album and exclusive to this release, so hardcore fans of any of these bands will definitely want to check things out. Most of the songs are pretty good, too. Personal favorites are High on Fire‘s “To Cross the Bridge,” a jagged slab of Celtic Frost worship, the no-nonsense boogie-rock of Bad Wizard‘s “So Bad” (I’m not a huge fan of their full-lengths, but one track at a time they’re pretty unstoppable), and Unida‘s “Left Us to Mold,” which only makes me further mourn the fact that the album they recorded for America will probably never see the light of day. Other artists included: Gas Giant, Clutch, Nebula, The Hidden Hand, Orange Goblin, Suplecs, Sea of Green, The Formula, COC, The Mystick Krewe of Clearlight, and Bottom.