I know I’ve reviewed the last couple of these Ripple Music compilations, and as long as they keep ‘em coming, I’ll keep listening. The fifth installment of The Second Coming of Heavy features a couple California outfits in Desert Suns and Chiefs, both from San Diego. As opposed to the third coming, which combined a heavy-rock outfit from Michigan and an “occult doom” act outta Sweden, this particular pairing appears to make much more sense on paper.
Desert Suns gets three tunes off the bat, kicking off with “Night Train,” whose rolling waves and mellow riffs take us into a seven-minute bluesy rocker that falls halfway between Fu Manchu and ZZ Top. “Heavy” is equally lengthy and just as, erm, “Heavy,” a rollicking mid-tempo rocker that brings Mothership to mind with a whole buncha heavy breakdowns at the end. Put it this way: if these guys were to open for Mothership on tour, I’d pay to see ‘em—and show up early! “Solitude” pushes things just past the eight-minute mark, adding some blues harmonica into the groovy, funky southern-rock mix before slowing to a debt stop halfway through. From there, the song slowly builds back up into more of a cosmic desert-rock jam. They don’t call themselves Desert Suns for nothing, I suppose.
Chiefs opens Side B with “The Rhino,” and the Fu Manchu runs strong with this one—classic-style SoCal hot-rod boogie rock, albeit with vocals more akin to Monster Magnet. (These guys are originally from Arizona, so that would explain why there’s no laidback surfer drawl.) “Baron to Chancellor” has a bit more of an early 90’s Melvins feel, albeit with some thick, meaty, big ‘n fuzzy stoner riffs, and soaring vocals more akin to Gozu or Lo-Pan. “Low Tide” sounds like a tune that could actually be on alt-rock radio back in the 90’s, while “Caroline” comes off as a cross between the Misfits and Collective Soul.
On the last two Second Comings I reviewed, I assigned a separate rating to each artist. And while I’m digging Desert Suns a bit more here, I don’t mind giving one overall grade to this installment.
The return of Ripple Music’s The Second Coming Of Heavy; Chapter V | Split album from Desert Suns and Chiefs