Various Artists: Sucking The ’70s

Like the 2002 compilation which preceded it, this edition of Small Stone’s Sucking The ’70s puts some of stoner rock’s finest in their perfect element, covering classic ’70s hard rock tunes with a modern, smoky edge. Really, this one’s a no brainer, and the fact that it’s back for a second round is just further evidence of how well it worked the first time.

There are plenty of returning acts, with Puny Human, Dixie Witch, Novadriver, Halfway To Gone, Los Natas, The Brought Low, Alabama Thunderpussy, Gideon Smith & The Dixie Damned, Throttlerod, Clutch, Fireball Ministry and Scott Reeder coming back in for a second helping, but even more are the newcomers. Acts who have only come along in the last couple years, like Sasquatch, Greatdayforup, Antler and Amplified Heat, are paired alongside other first-time contributors Colour Haze, Dozer, Acid King, Brad Davis of Fu Manchu, Whitey Morgan And The Waycross Georgia Farmboys, Red Giant, A Thousand Knives Of Fire, The Glasspack, Roadsaw, Orange Goblin, Mos Generator, Honky, The Muggs, RPG and Valis.

Some of those names might not mean a thing to you, but by the time you make it down to Dozer’s ripping version of Devo’s “Mongoloid,” you’ll be taking notes, rest assured. In particular, the first disc of this two-disc set is especially strong, with Clutch teaming with Five Horse Johnson to take on Funkadelic’s “Red Hot Mama,” ATP tackling Dio-era Rainbow with “Man On The Silver Mountain” and Sasquatch’s version of “Are You Ready” leading the charge.

In the over-the-top tradition of the arena rock that inspired much of the material here (admittedly, Scott Reeder doing The Beatles’ “Two Of Us,” while beautiful, is nowhere near grandiose), this compilation is absolutely huge. Sitting at well over two hours, it might be too much to take in one sitting, but there’s plenty there for when you come back for the next round.

In A Word: Ride