Throughout, the recordings are energetic and winning. Some songs like “Crash Car Mike,” “Make it Up,” and “Not Today” have been wholly rewritten and rendered propulsive and superb compared to their bootleg versions. And Pasadena guitarist (and YouTube sensation) 'The Hash' provides some stunning modern textures, like in "Drenched to the Bone,” that could have been used more liberally. London-based Phil Ockelford adds tasty blues work to several tracks, perfectly crafted solos that often extend the lyricism of the music.
Frequent and longtime collaborators Chet Hix and Stephen Thomas also have songs featured on the disc; Thomas’s “Seconds” is especially taut and thrilling. And the mid 90s Hate/Hix period is well represented, maybe most brilliantly in the comic madness of “Planet Dog.”
The 16 song release is sprawling enough even to feature some of Hate’s blues past, with instant classic “Wish I’d Quit You” being balanced with the funny “Brand New Man.”
But the reader will likely return most frequently to the long-rumored but never released “Desertland,” and the title track, a splendid song that features Hate’s once in a generation voice, heartbreaking, brilliant, and gone too soon.