Reviews : Albums : Various Artists, "....And Back to Earth Again: Ten Years of MeteorCity"

Various Artists, "....And Back to Earth Again: Ten Years of MeteorCity"
Various Artists
....And Back to Earth Again: Ten Years of MeteorCity
Meteor City
2007
2007, Meteor City
Various Artists, "....And Back to Earth Again: Ten Years of MeteorCity"

Ten years ago, Aaron Emmel and Jadd Shickler founded MeteorCity records. They weren’t business tycoons, in fact, they’ll probably admit that they didn’t know what they were doing. What they had going for them was a vision to cultivate the sound pioneered by Kyuss…and a lot of luck. As it turns out, over the next decade these two, through their record label and passion for this type of music, Aaron and Jadd have become responsible to a large degree for the success of a scene we call stoner rock (though they prefer the term desert rock). Now, a decade later, MeteorCity has released something like 40 albums and the cofounders have decided to leave the label in the competent hands of StonerRock.com. To commemorate the company’s decade run of success and killer tunes, MeteorCity has released …And Back to Earth Again: Ten Years of MeteorCity, a three-disc, 45-song, nearly four-hour collectors’ set of Aaron and Jadd’s favorite (not necessarily best-selling) desert jams from the label.

To make it perfectly clear before jumping into the details, this comp is beautifully arranged and absolutely bursting with GREAT stoner tunes. Even if you’re like me and already own something like half the material on this comp, you will find at least one or two bands whose albums you need to buy. There’s just that much quality material here.

One of the first things you’ll notice about the track listing is that there are a lot of Lowrider and Solace songs here. That’s because, if you read the generous insert booklet, Aaron and Jadd think very highly of these groups, and to be honest, I think they’ve hit the bullseye, as these two bands could very easily be the best on the label. You’ll also find a good helping of The Atomich Bitchwax, Spirit Caravan, Nebula, and Blind Dog, the last of which has since become a great new addition to my collection. Of course you’ll also have a few cuts from John Garcia’s post-Kyuss band, Unida, as well as Jadd’s own band Spiritu. These, maybe aside from Blind Dog, are the more obvious choices on the compilation.

Now here’s the stuff you’re less likely to know about: Cosmosquad do a fantastic stoner-style cover of Maiden’s “Murders in the Rue Morgue,” while I Are Droid (featuring members of Lowrider) have me cruising Amazon.com for any and all of their work because of their cover of “Serenade.” The Ribeye Brothers, boasting of Monster Magnet members, have an interesting, Dick Dale-meets-old-west sound, while Slaprocket’s two tunes, “Beggars Grinning” and “The Seed” need to have their album released because they fucking smoke!

There are certainly other songs here worth ink, but by no means will I even attempt to write something about all 45 tracks. If you’re a Kyuss fan, stoner rocker or simply need to shift gears away from death metal for a while, you’ll do very well to check …And Back to Earth Again: Ten years of MeteorCity, because it’s more than some label simply cobbling a bunch of their bands’ stuff together. These discs flow, they have many of the groups’ best works on them (though personally, I would have liked to see Lowrider’s “Flat Earth” on here somewhere), and there’s plenty of material that you’ll love but would otherwise probably not find out about. Just like the label itself, this comp feels like it was assemble by huge fans of these bands, and that makes all the difference.

Standout Tracks

   Too many to name. Buy this set, it’s pure, sweet bliss!

Peter Johnston