Thursday, June 20, 2002 @ 10:18 AM
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Even if you're not a fan of NASCAR, you've undoubtedly heard the windswept theme, that minute long intro that precedes the two sport-jacketed double-talkers clearing the way for the weekend's televised festivities… and such is how this eighteen song soundtrack to the speedway leads off. What follows is an all-star cast of many of today’s and few of yesterday's heavy rock hit-makers covering time-tested versions of demon-driven and generally race-themed original tracks specific to the tie-in of "Gentlemen start your engines…"
And it's not long before the wind hits you square in the face as you're rushed out to a swarm of screeching tires and smoke -- (Hed) p.e. opens with a ripping rendition of Hendrix's "Crosstown Traffic," soon giving way to a surprisingly sappy version of Willie Nelson's "On The Road Again" by retro rock sound-alikes Buckcherry. Newcomers Nonpoint crank out their own album highlight, "Circles."
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Southern rock vets Gov't Mule do justice to the Haynes' classic "Driving Rain" with the surprise additions of James Hetfield and Les Claypool on a heavier version, with the Metallic moto-mouth trading lead vox with the legendary great. Another unexpected surprise turns up by way of another newcomer Fenix*TX, covering the Billy Ocean eighties hit "Get Out Of My Dreams (Get Into My Car)," which if you liked the original, you'll like this hyped up electric version.
The now defunct Fear Factory appear with their cover of the Numan classic "Cars," while Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car" appears courtesy of rock/rap act Darwin's Waiting Room for the comp's most outlandish version of an otherwise somber folk ditty.
Traditional headbangers will wanna shift immediately into fifth for Slayer's sadistic massacre of the forever Steppenwolf classic "Born To Be Wild," before the gear-grinding exploits of Type-O's cover of "Highway Star" -- quite a departure from their usually dulled down cover tune mellowness.
Richard Petty look-alike Les Claypool finally gave into the pressure and adds his own Texan twang on the closing "Hot Rod Lincoln," which, as if it could sound like anything else, is just what you'd expect: a knee-slapping chickens-in-the-hen-house sort of C/W goofy charm.
Each of the contributors throws in a brief quip based on their chosen work and hey, the fact is auto racing is big time stuff in most parts of the world that aren't stacked with skyscrapers and smog, and what could be a better mix than hot rods and heavy metal -- they're one in the same. Crank It Up is highly combustible compilation that'll either get your engines revving, or leave ya coughing in the dust.