Saturday, March 26, 2005

The Weekly Music Magazine CD sampler review - 01

The Weekly Music Magazine CD sampler review.

Every month, I read many music magazines. Several of them have sampler CDs that have both known and lesser-known artists. There’s nothing like the sense of discovery you feel when you stumble across a great song, for the first time. This column covers my sense of discovery of the tracks that made a strong impression on me.

In this first installment, I look at the sampler CD from CMJ New Music Monthly, which, curiously, isn’t a publication that you can subscribe to through I’ve been a subscriber for about six years now. It’s apparently “…the first consumer magazine to include a bound-in CD sampler.” Without a doubt, the magazine covers mostly lesser-known artists, and they are to be applauded for giving exposure to some of the freshest performers in the indie and college radio world.

CMJ New Music Monthly


  1. · SAGE FRANCIS "Dance Monkey" from A Healthy Distrust courtesy of Epitaph Records
  2. · KINGS OF LEON "The Bucket" from Aha Shake Heartbreak courtesy of RCA Records
  3. · GRATITUDE "Drive Away" from Gratitude courtesy of Velvet Hammer-Atlantic Records
  4. · ...AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD "And The Rest Will Follow" from Worlds Apart courtesy of Interscope Records
  5. · ANI DIFRANCO "Manhole" from Knuckle Down courtesy of Righteous Records
  6. · DALEK "Culture For Dollars" from Absence courtesy of Ipecac Records
  7. · THE GOLDEN REPUBLIC "You Almost Had It" from The Golden Republic courtesy of Astralwerks Records
  8. · KASABIAN "Clubfoot" from Kasabian courtesy of RCA Records
  9. · BRANDTSON "King Of Pain" from Policia: A Tribute To The Police courtesy of The Militia Group
  10. · SHIVAREE "I Close My Eyes" from Who's Got Trouble courtesy of Rounder Records
  11. · HIDDEN IN PLAIN VIEW "Bleed For You" from Life In Dreaming courtesy of Drive Thru Records
  12. · CHARACTER "Die In A Woman's Lap" from We Also Create False Promises courtesy of Ficticious Records
  13. · LOVEDRUG "Blackout" from Pretend You're Alive courtesy of courtesy of The Militia Group
  14. · SNMNMNM "My Defense" from As Best We Can courtesy of Unschooled Records
  15. · RED MONROE "Sin City Serenade" from Meeting On A Train courtesy of 3 Concentric Records
  16. · MOMMY AND DADDY "Confection" from Fighting Style Killer Panda courtesy of Kanine Recoreds
These are the tracks that I would listen to again.

“The Bucket” by Kings of Leon. Bright and poppy with enough roughness to still have some indie cred. Touted by some as the southern Strokes. Read El Bicho’s Blogcritics review of Aha Shake Heartbreak.

“Drive Away” by Gratitude. The song is catchy indie rock but doesn’t sound all that distinctive. Still, well worth listening to. Craig Lyndall’s Blogcritics review is worth reading.

“And The Rest Will Follow” by …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead… - the craft in the songwriting is quickly apparent as the songs weaves teriffic melodies with the sheen-less indie sound and vocals. Not as raw and heavy as previous efforts. Are they evolving or selling out? The song absolutely begs more listens. Their 2002 album Source Tags and Codes is a much-celebrated indie gem.

"Culture For Dollars" by Dalek. Industrial, clanky opening, hip-hop beats, brooding, atmospheric sound. Droning, bleak, but captivating sound from an innovator.

"Clubfoot" by Kasabian. Explosive sounding indie rock with a more commercial beat. Intriguing sound, more dark than fun. Reminds me more of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club than anything else.

“I Close My Eyes” by Shivaree. Torchy, twangy and jazzy. Not an obvious hit but a fine mid-tempo listen.

“Bleed For You” by Hidden in Plain View. This song, inspired by two women who were rape victims and friends of the band, packs a lot of emotion and displays fine chops, but it also sounds indistinguishable from so many other bands indie rock bands.

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