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Darren Kerr Review - November 1, 1997

Review of "Second Hand Smoke"

Oh Brad, you shuffled off your funky mortal coil way too soon, and now your friends and colleagues are scouring the vaults for every tiny morsel of Sublime to give to the hungry public. I do believe they are doing it out of love, for your memory and for your music -- but, you know, the unreleased stuff isn't all glittering sapphires. Some of it is pyrite, and small chunks of it are costume jewelry like my weird aunt's horrendous orange scarab brooch.

First I have to ask, why remix "April 29th, 1992" or, especially, "Doin' Time"? Even you couldn't have improved on them. I'm sure all the demo songs were spun gold at the Long Beach house parties, but you knew they were substandard compared the tunes on 40oz. To Freedom and Sublime. "I Saw Red" is a sprawling rapid-paced mess, even though I bet you and Gwen Stefani had a blast recording it. I gotta hand it to you, though, you really sang a wicked "Trenchtown Rock," even if it does seem short. And I'm really looking forward to hearing all the live stuff which the liner notes say is going to be released soon.

Second Hand Smoke is just that: someone taking massive bong hits, then blowing the smoke in your direction, offering only a contact high. It's too bad, Brad -- I know you'd want only the finest buzz for us.




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