Judge fans beware, Mike could not have severed himself more from Judge than he does with this record. The songs on the first half of the record are played by Mike on his own; the only instruments being guitar, harp, and his vocals. On the rest he is joined by Old Smoke, where he's playing some more straightforward songs with the standard guitar, bass, drums, and hammond organ arrangement. Among the members of of Old Smoke is Dennis Persich, who's been a member of Richie Haven's entourage from way back, and the spurious Bill Grey. If you're not careful, you might find your head bobbin' with this one.
Mike Judge • lead guitar/vocals
Todd Schwartz • rhythm guitar
Dennis Persich • bass/Hammond
William Grey • drums
Interviews and Reviews
If you are a Judge fan (and I know there are many out there), this album might come as a bit of a surprise. Here we have Mike doing his best to sound like soft Neil Young on five tracks, and then more of an urban blues distorted feel with Old Smoke on the last five.
His voice keeps that spooky semblance, but it's fogiveable. The songwriting is impeccable and Judge kept the production to a minimum, so we can hear precisely what he wants us to feel.
Sorta like the Sleep situation, if no riffs are stolen, no foul in my book. And for someone to emulate, I think Neil Young is about as good a choice as anyone. This is a full-course disc with all the trimmings. It shall be residing in my six-discer for months to come.
Aiding & Abetting, Vol. III, No.4: #46 January 15, 1994