Thursday, June 9, 2011

Posted by Andrew Jacobs |

Sights, the lone 1993 release from Mike Judge & Old Smoke, most likely holds the distinction of being the most hated record in the entire Revelation Records catalog. For me, however, it holds the distinction of being the record that I've listened to the most amount of times in the entire Revelation Records catalog. And while it's not my favorite Rev release (Iceburn's Hephaestus, another hated record in the Rev catalog, holds that title), it's most definitely in my top 10 of favorite Rev releases. And here's the kicker - I'm not (nor have I ever been) that big a fan of Judge. Those of you who have seen my brother's Orange County Hardcore Scenester documentary on the '90s OC hardcore scene may recall my brother mentioning that the first show he attended in 1990 was headlined by Judge. He also mentioned that he and I left the show during their set. Well, I'll lay odds that it was most likely because of me that
he and I left during their set. And if I had it to do all over again, I'd leave BEFORE they started playing. With all due respect to Mike Judge, John Porcelly and all the other members of Judge, the band has simply never been my cup o' tea.

Mike Judge & Old Smoke, on the other hand, is an entirely different matter altogether.

In my not so very humble opinion, Sights is nothing less than a masterpiece of darkness, introspection and dark introspection. With this album, Mike Judge truly plumbs the depths of the soul and of humanity which he only touched upon on Judge's The Storm EP. Along with the incredibly talented Old Smoke (Todd Schwartz, William Grey and Dennis Persich), Mike Judge takes the listener down the cold and lonely roads to places that most of us have (thankfully) only read about in books. It ain't pretty to be sure. And therein lies the sheer genius of the album and of Mike Judge & Old Smoke - they make it pretty. Misery has never, ever sounded so good.

Mike Judge & Old Smoke's Sights is available for download on iTunes and Amazon. Do yourself a favor and give it a(nother) spin.

1 comments:

Rotting Corpse A-Go-Go said...

I'm with you on this (and I love Iceburn as well). Well put some great stuff from MJ and Old Smoke.