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Obsessed | review | stoner | rock | doom | Lollipop

The Obsessed

by Brian Varney

The first official reissue of the first Obsessed album, an album whose every facet is shrouded in the legend that comes with being talked about more than heard. Recorded in 1984, but not released until 1989 - and even then only as an import - original copies of the album are so rare that most people have simply stopped looking. So why does anyone care about this album? Obsessed leader/former St. Vitus member/current Spirit Caravan leader Scott "Wino" Weinrich is viewed by followers as a beacon, the inspiration for the sound today known as stoner rock. This, supposedly, is the missing link, the shot fired when no one was listening.

The next, and most obvious, question is "Does it live up to its legend?" Inasmuch as that's possible, I would say "yes." Although it would be difficult for anything to live up to the legend that has grown around this record and this band, this record certainly justifies at least some of the hype it's generated.

There's nothing on here that you haven't heard before, but viewed contextually, this must've been quite a shock for kids in the late '80s. There are plenty of the big guitar riffs (even this early, Wino's shocking guitar prowess is on full display) and heavy, groovy rhythms that are stoner rock's calling cards. Having said that, I did find myself wishing this had just a little more attack, though that's probably more to do with the production than the performance.

All things considered, I probably like Spirit Caravan more than the Obsessed, but you can learn a whole lot in 15 years, you know? This'd probably be a very important record for me had I heard it 10 years ago. As it stands, it's merely a good record, which should be enough for you to buy it.

Oh yeah, as an added bonus, there's a bootleg-quality live show from 1984 appended to the original album.
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