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Born Too Late #2: Comps Edition

Illustration by Emily McCafferty
Illustration by Emily McCafferty

Ah, spring. When a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love. (What? We’re not savages.) Most good music can be enjoyed anywhere and anytime, but there’s something about warm weather, open windows and outdoor activities that give riff rock and metal an added leg up. Coincidentally, three essential purveyors of everything airbrushed-wizard-on-the-side-of-a-van have recently released compilations that should be part of your next backyard BBQ and brew playlist.

second coming of heavy

Ripple Music
Second Coming Of Heavy: Volume 5

Desert Suns and Chiefs take the spotlight for Ripple’s ongoing split series showcasing new talent in the stoner/doom/psych arena. In keeping with previous Second Coming editions, Volume 5 comes in limited colored vinyl variants and killer album artwork; the kind you sit in your room and stare at while the record spins. Desert Suns contributes three drawn-out heavy jams that strongly reference their band name, right from the swirling wind and spaghetti western whistle that opens first track “Night Train”. If Quicksilver Messenger Service had ever turned it up to 11, they might have approached Desert Suns’ sweet spot. On the flipside, San Diego-via-Phoenix power trio Chiefs love Fu Manchu. Why wouldn’t they? Tight songwriting, memorable riffs and a vocalist with some rock & roll swagger are all positives. If groove was a (ahem) plant, both bands partake; they just enjoy different strains.

brown acid fourth trip

RidingEasy Records
Brown Acid – The Fourth Trip

For their Brown Acid comps, RidingEasy has been going straight to the source: fuzzed out gems from the late 60s/early 70s, unknown to all but the most obsessive genre historians. Even at four volumes deep, there are still ‘new’ favorites to discover. Stone Garden’s “Oceans Inside Me” sounds like a lost Cream single, and Wrath cranks out a proto-punk instrumental (more The Who than The Stooges) with “Rock N Roll Fever”. Erving Forbush revives the Nuggets-era freakout on “The Train”. Tony Iommi might have the most famous smoking sample to ever grace an intro, but Bungi gives him a run for the money with some unmistakable ‘inhales’ at the beginning of goofy-but-endearing “Numbers”. Not only is this a great collection of songs, but RidingEasy just saved everyone countless hours and dollars tracking down all the original vinyl, which – let’s face it – contain plenty of filler. Celebrate these choice cuts instead.

hard rock revolution

Hard Rock Revolution
Volume III

Hard Rock Revolution is a Facebook group whose main purpose is sharing and discovering new bands within the stoner/doom scene, with members nominating their favorites for (band-approved) free compilations. This is about as close as it gets to distilling the essence of fandom: being so excited over new music that you feel an irrepressible urge to share it with whomever you can. Boasting buzzworthy names like Gozu, Youngblood Supercult and Forming The Void – among 24 others – it’s clear HRR members know what they’re doing. It also comes in handy whenever someone brings up the “there aren’t any good rock bands these days!” trope. From Borracho’s swaggering Orange Goblin-inspired groove to Black Lung’s Cactus reverb riffing to Kremlin’s subdued psych balladry, there really is something for everyone.

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