Now this is what I call a compilation. Taking in a disparate roster of artists indulging and colourfully succeeding in an eclectic variety of musical styles with 50 tracks it offers terrific value for money. Not least because the quality is consistently excellent. Not all the artists are signed to Rough Trade, it would be extraordinary if they were, some are mind but other labels represented include Domino, Too Pure, Wichita, Slogan and lots I’ve never heard of before.
As a method of hearing new bands it can’t be beat as it would cost the equivalent of your Council tax every month to investigate all these bands individually, not to mention the amount of time it would take. On the infuriatingly perplexing side it may well pique your interest in so many bands it may well end up costing you a fortune anyway but it’s a nice problem to have and if it stops you spending money on less important things like your Council tax then so be it. So be warned there is a lot of stuff here that will have you furiously investigating the Amazon site.
Stuff like Six Organs of Admittance: “Words For Two”, The Boy Least Likely To: “Paper Cuts”, Data Panik: “I Love You” The Spinto Band: “Direct To Helmet“Milburn: “Showroom” to name a few. There are also some higher profile bands like Franz Ferdinand , The Fall, Espers, Low , Elvis Costello with the Brodsky Quartet, Boards Of Canada and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah whose track incidentally called “Details Of the War” is a real snorter and makes me regret not buying their album instead of Broken Social Scenes patchy effort.
By the law of averages there is bound to be some stuff any listener will not get on too well with. Street Gangland Rhythms Band 1 “Gang Fight” sounds like a bunch of A.S. B.O. bound delinquents interrupting a blind tramp playing the bongos. It’s truly execrable. The token world music track by Konono No 1 is awful, sounding like a mobile ring tone played in an aqualung with some out of tune shouting and whistling over the top. Nurse With Wound are about as pretentious as you can get , which is pretty damm pretentious. But some people will love them , god knows why but they will and that’s the beauty of a compilation like this . With music as diverse as spectral folk , chamber pop, Full on metal assault, warped electronica , shiny electro pop , queasy ambient, beautifully breezy summer sounds, post punk type blasts of spiky energy, acerbic post acid house disco ( or something) there really is something for everyone. .except possibly fans of Will Young …or Westlife lets just say that anyone with a sliver of taste will discover plenty that is exigent and exhilarating.
And if none of this gets the blood pumping then a steel band version of Gary Numans “Cars” by Katzjammmers should. No? Then how about Albert Kuvezin and Yat Kha whose “The Wild Mountain Thyme” sounds like Tom Waits with a sore throat telling a ghost story while Gravenhurst discover the joys of the Farfisa? Or the hilarious “No Bra “by Munchausen which contains the line “I Got syphilis once in “Top Shop”. I never have, or indeed anywhere else for that matter but I have got this album and it really is something everyone should try to catch.