Snow Bud's Biggest Hits gathers 20 favorites from Snow Bud and the Flower People, the burnout side project/goof of Chris Newman, a Portland-area rocker who's best known as the founder of the indie rock combo Napalm Beach. Of course, if you read High Times for the articles, you might recognize Newman as a frequent contributor to the iconoclastic stoner mag. You might also be the target audience for Biggest Hits, which features songs like "Killer Bud," "Seeds for Thought," "Grass Is Groovy," and the relative hit single "Bong Hit." At their best ("Thaied Up," "Rat Fink"), the Flower People lock into a scrappy, acid rock groove; when they're, uh, "distracted" the band better resembles a sluggish Doors cover band. It's often unclear where the joke ends and the group begins, since Newman's lounge lizard-king delivery and stoner cliché lyrics can be seen as inspired, misguided, or hilarious, depending on your viewpoint and sobriety. "The carpet is melting/[Unintelligible] of the sunset," he slurs at one point, backed up by spidery, Indian-influenced guitar. By contrast, his tale of some particularly potent Mary Jane in "Dick in the Dirt" is pretty cohesive. (The track's elastic bassline and cool reverb guitars are an added plus.) "Bong Hit" is probably one of the strongest tracks here; even when he's rhyming "bong" with "four feet long," Newman's Ian Gillan-style vocal meshes well with the stoner rock instrumentation. Especially recommended for owners of Swan Song tapestries.
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