And Back to Earth Again: Ten Years of Meteor City
This lavishly appointed, extensively annotated, DVD-shaped, three-CD box set celebrates the first decade in the life of Albuquerque, NM's Meteor City -- arguably the definitive stoner rock record label, given its longevity (only England's more doom-leaning Rise Above and Detroit's Small Stone come close), and strict devotion to the various heavy rock subgenres (metal, classic rock, desert rock, space rock, etc.), orbiting the greater stoner rock galaxy. Like most everyone in any way associated with the stoner rock scene, Meteor City founders Jadd Schickler and Aaron Emmel were originally inspired to action by Kyuss, whose seminal releases of the mid-'90s managed to coalesce nearly three decades of far-flung hard rock and metal influences under this popular new heading that Gen X'ers looking beyond grunge's confines would readily embraced. And so the duo launched their label with 1997's Welcome to Meteor City compilation, following it with some 40 releases during the ensuing decade, from which 45 standout tracks have been judiciously excerpted for And Back to Earth Again: Ten Years of Meteor City's three discs. Here, listeners will find long out-of-print gems such as Unida's "Wet Pussycat," Las Cruces' "In My Sadness," Sixty Watt Shaman's "Red Colony," I Are Droid's "Serenade," and Orquesta del Desierto's "Reaching Out." They'll thrill at discovering underappreciated highlights from lesser known contributors like Spiritu, Slaprocket, Truckfighters, Black NASA, Blind Dog, and the Mushroom River Band. And they'll nod appreciatively over all-time stoner rock anthems like Dozer's "From Mars," Nebula's "Full Throttle," Solace's "Whistle Pig," Spirit Caravan's "Dove-Tongued Aggressor," and Lowrider's "Upon the Dune," among many others. In sum: thanks to Meteor City's impressive catalog and commendable dedication to their chosen stylistic muse, And Back to Earth Again delivers as broad and rich a survey of the stoner rock field as one is likely to obtain from any single record label; simultaneously offering an ready-made stoner rock collection for neophytes, and an authoritative summary for genre completists. So until the next launch sequence counts down to see off another ten years, this voyage has already been quite a trip.