Hard Reviews 3
by Martin Popoff

Karma To Burn - Wild Wonderful Purgatory (MIA)

Definitely not pleased here, these Clutch homies stoopifying their sound to serviceable stoner rock and then loading the bollocks off the side of the junk heap by making everything an instrumental! Wild Wonderful Purgatory (a spoof on the West Virginia license plate) is basically eight of these less than utilitarian, carved, uh, things, plus the four tracks from the band's 10" Wild, Wonderful & Apocalyptic EP. But like I care, duped guy sitting here listening and then thinking 'hey, wait a darn tootin', I've been shaft-shanked, there's no singing!' Not a good feeling, these songs being too Man's Ruin/The Music Cartel to support one's attention span without the vocalist, who has simply been deleted from what was an explosive and creative line-up.
Rating 5

Entombed - Black Juju
(Man's Ruin)

Quite the coup Man's Ruin snagging snaggletooths Entombed and then getting a heavier, more spirited performance out of them versus the "cleverness" of Same Difference. The CD version of Black Juju is an expanded, eight track, 26 minute item that builds on the four track 10" smokey vinyl artifact of the same name released October-ish '99, with four covers (Twisted Sister, Jerry's Kids, Bob Dylan, Dwarves) from '97s The Wreckage EP. Suitable for the Man's Ruin mandate, this EP combines the three or four characteristics of the Entombed sound with a violent stoner rock in the fine tradition of MC5. The highlights are the title track (an obscure Alice Cooper cover) and the punk-fired version of Ballad Of Hollis Brown, while most of the thing achieves a death rock viscosity far and above the alternative experimentation of Same Difference. Half properly recorded, with the four Wreckage tracks being of minimal demo quality.
Rating 7

Hard Reviews Page 4