Monday, December 29, 2003

Well, I needed to squeeze two into one day, so here goes...

#3: Sun Kil Moon - Ghosts of the Great Highway

"Some like K.K. Downing more than Glenn Tipton", Red House Painters' frontman Mark Kozelek suggests on the opening track of his latest side project. Frankly, I think I was always partial to Glenn Tipton because I thought he looked cooler, but I definitely couldn't distinguish one's guitar playing from the other's.

Moving, if not focused, tributes to obscure characters are a major theme on Sun Kil Moon's Ghosts of the Great Highway, as Kozelek also offers odes to fallen pugilists Salvador Sanchez and Duk Koo Kim, both of whom died tragically within months of each other in 1982, at the age of 23; Sanchez in an auto accident, and Kim in the ring. Kozelek's haunting vocals and songs about life's tragedies evoke the memory of Rust Never Sleeps side one, particularly on the 14-minute epic "Duk Koo Kim". The album's least quiet moments, "Salvador Sanchez" and "Lily and Parrots", even offer Crazy Horse-inspired riffs, although not in the garage trash vein of Rust side two.

Summing up, though, an album that pays tribute lyrically to one of my favorite heavy metal bands of my teenage years, and sonically to my favorite rock 'n' roll could it go wrong?

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