Once playfully known as "the world's shortest rock and roll band," there is certainly nothing diminutive about Blue Oyster Cult's biggest hits; "Burnin' for You" and "Don't Fear the Reaper" are still FM radio staples thirty years after first hitting the airwaves. The band had lesser hits too, like the somewhat goofy "Godzilla" and early success "Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll." All the above are included in this 2-CD, 31-cut retrospective but the real meat of the compilation may not be familiar to casual BOC fans. This then is a really good time to get acquainted with scorching, pre-superstardom tracks like "7 Screaming Diz-Busters," "The Red and the Black," "Astronomy," "Career of Evil" and also hear live versions of early favorites "ME 262," "Harvester of Eyes" and "Hot Rails to Hell." Also included is a live version of one of the band's favorite covers, the Steppenwolf classic "Born to be Wild," and Robbie Krieger, former guitarist for the Doors, guests as BOC cover the Doors' "Roadhouse Blues." Sprinkle in another dozen or so album cuts and you have a very satisfying listen.
Primal Rock Rebellion
Iron Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith is one of two principals in Primal Rock Rebellion and some songs like the catchy "No Place Like Home" feature his melodic style of playing and may appeal to Maiden fans. But the vocalist here is Mikee Goodman from SikTh and he delivers most of his leads in the deep growling scream that's the hallmark of so much of today's heavy rock. That's not to say Awoken Broken is just more of the same; to the contrary almost every cut, "Savage World" and "White Sheet Robes" among them, beg for lots of airplay. Just don't expect it to sound like Iron Maiden.
Behold the Monolith
This Los Angeles-based band plays doom metal that owes plenty to Black Sabbath but they show some serious Motorhead love too. And that's definitely a doomed-up "Smoke on the Water" riff they incorporate into mid-album standout track "Witch Hunt Supreme."
Six Sik Sisters
Every song on Six Sik Sisters begins with the word "thee"---"Thee Plea," "Thee Apology," "Thee Interlude," etc. That may not be a real imaginative gimmick but the band shows plenty of creativity with an oddly appealing mix of everything from surf-oriented speed metal to sludgy freak-out, all featuring fun impish vocals from Mike Anderson.