By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
Thanks in part to inspiration by loc-ed out gangstas who haven’t got half their melodic sense, Sublime were expertly detailed memoirists of cannabis-blitzed coastal coming-of-age — bills to pay, shit under shoes, stinky Vans, Mom on pot and Dad on crack, alarm clocks and arm needles, sand in your bed sheet, informers finking on your herb, gun barrels stuck down Sancho’s throat, a brown-eyed Mexican Lolita with budding bosoms and a nicotine habit and five horny brothers and a drunk-ass dad who puts her on the street turning tricks, and more stuff about owning a dog than any band I’ve ever heard. On Second-Hand Smoke, irate neighbors call from next door as the dead guy’s voice hits early-’70s-R&B high notes and Betty Wright and Foghat and Peter Tosh and Sugarloaf and Status Quo provide gurgling riffs. Brad talks a lot about having no home, drives drunk for five seconds, covers a Marley solidarity song when he should’ve covered a Marley murder song, says if he had a shotgun he’d shoot stars from the sky for you. The kid didn’t always "play guitar like a motherfucking riot," but he did it often enough. And what a warm, soulful heart he had. (Chuck Eddy)THE YARDBIRDS
In 1965, the Yardbirds — then flying high with their third straight U.S. smash, the double-A-sided "I’m a Man" b/w "Still I’m Sad" — told a Hit Parader interviewer that they were "playing the rock ’n’ roll of the future." While at least one cynical 14-year-old reader thought that was an incredibly bold statement, thus far they’ve been the only band to say that and be right.
Led Zeppelin, heavy metal and grunge. Prog-rock, protracted jamming and guitar heroes. The Yardbirds invented ’em all. They didn’t discover fuzztone, feedback or distortion, but they — and the Who — popularized them all pre-Hendrix. They weren’t the first to bring Indian ragas, Gregorian chants or Chicago blues into the pop mix, but they got hits that incorporated all of the above.
This particular album collects 26 tunes recorded for BBC radio from 1965 to ’68. (That’s Beck 20, Page six and Clapton nil, if you’re keeping score, in which case you probably know that all this stuff has never been legitimately available on domestic release, and some of it’s previously un released, and there are loads of quaintly period radio-geek chatter, and . . .)
Enough trainspotting. Aside from two obvious missteps, it’s all good: audibly different versions of "I’m a Man," "Smokestack Lightning," "The Train Kept A-Rollin’" and "Little Games"; powerful performances of "Heart Full of Soul," "Still I’m Sad," "Over Under Sideways Down," "Think About It" and "Goodnight Sweet Josephine"; and — towering above everything else on the disc — Beck’s supercharged big-block solo on "Too Much Monkey Business" and his "look, Ma, no slide" workout on what is traditionally a bottleneck showpiece, "Dust My Broom."
Yeah, it’s all mono, and the overall sound is a bit thin and trebly at times. Yeah, Keith Relf’s pinched, nasal vocals made him a better blond pinup boy than a dirty low-down bluesman. And if a buncha English art students tryin’ to sound like Authentic Voices of the African-American Experience isn’t pretty much the auditory origin of punk rock (‘60s edition), I don’t know what is. Yeah, yeah, yeah. (Don "It Was All Steely, High-Tension Guitar Solos Around Here When I Was a Lad" Waller)