Stoner/Hard Rock
Punk/Power Pop

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Dos E.P.s (MeteorCity)
by Brian Varney

The timespan required before something is eligible for re-release/remastering is certainly getting shorter, isn't it? It used to be such treatment was reserved for "classic" material, but this stuff's only four years old. With the way indie labels/releases go in and out of business/print, though, I suppose this is inevitable.

Case in point is this 11-track beastie, which compiles eight songs (remastered and remixed for this re-release) from out-of-print EPs on MeteorCity and Man's Ruin plus three new songs. The new songs continue the band's progression away from their psychedelic beginnings, a progression begun by the band's latest full-length, the disappointing Charged. As the psychedelic trappings of the earlier material (such as the EP tracks presented here plus the band's first two full-lengths Let It Burn and To the Center) are cast aside in favor of a bone-simple, Blue Cheer-influenced sound (perhaps an effort to distance themselves from the "stoner" pack, something they've gone to great lengths to do in interviews), much of the band's character is stripped away. Simply put, the three new tracks are boring. Wanting to sound like Blue Cheer is an admirable aim, but these tracks don't cut it. The new songs are increasingly subjugated to a single riff and the wash of trippy effects is mostly gone. Even Eddie Glass's voice is free of effects (a decided mistake, as he's not the best singer in the world and the vocal effects [i.e. the "Ozzy rig"] did a good job of disguising this). Maybe this is their way of playing up their self-proclaimed punk roots. Whatever the impetus, the change is not for the better.

The reason to buy this, then, is for the EP tracks. If you don't have the MeteorCity EP (actually a split EP release with Lowrider) or Sun Creature (originally released on Man's Ruin), you need this. Apparently these versions have been tweaked a bit from the original releases, with additional keyboard tracks, some remixing, and a remastering job, but the overall vibe is pretty similar. I haven't played this alongside the originals to pick out the differences, but this sounds as good as I remember the original EPs sounding.
(PO Box 40322 Albuquerque, NM 87196)  

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