Various Artists

Guerrilla Jukebox, Vol. 1

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The infamous Tee Pee Records has proudly been releasing high-octane rock & roll, neo-'70s metal experiments, and THC-laced stoner music since 1995. Guerrilla Jukebox, Vol.1 is a testament to the label's lofty ideals, featuring 18 tracks from veterans, newcomers, and future rockers, all for a budget price of around eight dollars. It's insane how heavy some of these songs are. Atomic Bitchwax, Nebula, Hermano, and Bad Wizard all channel the glory days of '70s sludge and metal, collectively resembling what it would sound like to punch the buttons on an AM radio in a hellbound 1972 Plymouth Duster. The cowpunk of Little Better and Highstrung helps the flow of this compilation, offering a lull from the chugging riffs and harmonized guitars of Gibson Flying V enthusiasts like Boulder. But just when it was thought that it could not get any heavier, Guerrilla Jukebox gets its heaviest. San Jose's Sleep was the penultimate stoner rock band, incorporating more doom and sludge into their music than any rocker with a hemp guitar strap had dared to before. After two mind-blowing albums, Sleep took a year's worth of bong hits before issuing the one-track, 52-minute burnout epic Jerusalem. It was panned by their label and never released. That is, until Tee Pee Records came on the scene. Guerrilla Jukebox includes an excerpt from the recording, now carrying its working title of Dopesmoker. Worlds will be swallowed in its murky depths. Emerging from the primordial ooze of Sleep, Guerrilla Jukebox presents the L7-influenced Lost Goat and High on Fire's rave-up rock & roll. Core is yet another band indebted to the rhythms of Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, but since other groups on Tee Pee and this compilation update that sound with more precision or originality, Core's "Fleetwood" ends up sounding a bit flat. But this is minor, as each group on Tee Pee contributes to the sleazy genius of the label with its own particular hybrid of heavy metal, Southern rock, and resin-burning stoner jams. If there's any question where Tee Pee is coming from, the label hired High Times magazine to host its showcase at the 2003 South by Southwest music festival in Austin, TX. No doubt about it: Guerrilla Jukebox, Vol.1 is both high and on fire.

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