'Second Hand Smoke' Superbly Meshes Sublime Rarities, Remixes

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), January 2, 1998 | Go to article overview

'Second Hand Smoke' Superbly Meshes Sublime Rarities, Remixes


Byline: Adam Webb

'Second Hand Smoke' superbly meshes Sublime rarities, remixes Sublime "Second Hand Smoke" (MCA Records) * * * 1/2

After the success of Sublime's third studio album, "sublime," which was released a few months after frontman Brad Nowell passed, the remaining two members of the band had only a few choices in which direction to go. With "Second Hand Smoke," a collection of surprisingly superb rarities, re-masters and remixes, it appears they made the right choice.

From the first track, a remix of Sublime's 1997 single "Doin' Time," it's obvious that this is going to be a fun album. The SoCal ska brass sounds mixed with hip-hop record scratches make for a sweet and smooth combination.

The album is bigger and better than any second-rate remix album I've heard and makes Nirvana's "Incesticide" look like a pile of recordings thrown to the dogs. "Second Hand Smoke" is filled with songs that have been searched for like ancient relics.

The 19 tracks that clock in at more than an hour leave room for slight error. The unfortunate "Get Out! (Remix)," which sounds like New Kids on the Block pop-rock layered on top of a Jerky Boys phone call, can be overlooked because of the other countless hits.

What's sure to be the most appreciated track on the album, "Saw Red," is a duet between Brad Nowell and No Doubt lead Gwen Stefani. For the most part the song is pure Ska, stripped down Sublime, and should be cherished not because of the big names but because it's surely one of Sublime's best releases.

I must say, I think it's a miracle that any band got me to enjoy their rarities and excess tracks that (for any other band) would usually get thrown in the garbage. …

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