Various artists

Sucking the 70's, Back in the Saddle Again (Small Stone)

Filled with invigorating takes on classic rock warhorses, 2002's Sucking the 70's just might be the best tribute compilation ever produced. And although its sequel, Sucking the 70's, Back in the Saddle Again, returns many of the same stoner-rock all-stars, Empire Strikes Back it ain't. Like the first Sucking, the comp is thankfully short on irony and deconstruction while taking more heartfelt liberties. And once again, a Cleveland band rocks the party: The now-defunct Red Giant contributes a cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Saturday Night Special," featuring Clydesdale-size guitar harmonies. The collection's second-best adaptation is Antler's smoldering take on the Eagles' "Those Shoes." Unfortunately, though, Whitey Morgan and the Waycross Farmboys' country-fried "Running with the Devil" just makes you wish they'd cranked up and cranked it out, while Dozer fuzzes out Devo's "Mongoloid," giving the tech-rock classic real balls. Finally, former Kyuss bassist Scott Reeder's galloping acoustic take on the Beatles' "Two of Us" more than justifies a third installment. D.X. Ferris

 
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