The second in my Recommended Buried Treasure series, this one is an older recommendation and came courtesy of Rock ‘n’ Roll Gina Brooks, who is so rock ‘n’ roll it’s in her name. A long time ago, she burned me a copy of All That’s Heavy by Maine‘s Rotors to Rust, and only recently did I finally find a full-artwork retail version in a price I was actually willing to pay. Amazon had two copies. One was $9.99, the other $199.98. You can guess which one I bought.
All That’s Heavy (the name will be familiar to any denizens of the webstore related to StonerRock.com) was released in 1999 on Weird Space Records, and Rotors to Rust were also featured on MeteorCity‘s original Welcome to MeteorCity compilation and the Inhale 420 comp with the likes of Natas, Crowbar and Mystick Krewe of Clearlight. Info on the band, their touring or what became of the trio is rare, but All That’s Heavy rocks, and that’s what’s most important.
There are parts that are so late-’90s post-grunge heavy they remind me of Kilgore Smudge, and I think the vocals of guitarist Ed Gaines help in that, but Rotors to Rust were more riff-based than their New England countrymen, and never did the likes of Fear Factory‘s Burton C. Bell guest on one of their records on a song named for an obscure Star Wars reference (amazing, the shit we remember). If you consider that putting Rotors to Rust at a disadvantage, then to make up for it, consider the hefty distortion in Gaines‘ guitar tone or the thrust in the rhythm section of drummer Doug Wood and bassist Jason Grosso. They’re not doing anything too tricky or overly stylistic, but what they do, they do well, and it makes a track like side B opener “The Axis of Existence” go from “meh” to “definitely worth hearing,” which as we all know is a big difference.
If you can find a copy, All That’s Heavy is a decent bit of obscurity that’s worth breaking out at those times where you want to balance aggression with something not too intellectual, but not outright dumb either. It might not be the ultimate hidden gem of a listen, but it’s definitely of its era, and if you happen into a copy that costs less than $200, you’ll probably want to take note.
Tags: Maine, Portland, Rotors to Rust, Weird Space