Sunday, April 17, 2005

The Weekly Music Magazine CD Sampler Review

The Weekly Music Magazine CD Sampler Review, #4.

Every month, I read many music magazines. Several of them have sampler CDs that have both known and lesser-known artists. This column covers my thoughts on the only the tracks that made a strong impression on me.

Magnet is a US bi-monthly magazine that goes out of its way to cover up and coming alt bands that are percolating below the mainstream. It has a lot of credibility with me. Now in its 65th issue and 37th sampler CD, Magnet's CDs cover fewer known artists than CMJ New Music Monthly, save for regional success stories.

Magnet’s New Music sampler CDs have a mixture of laid-back alt-pop to more thrashy music, but no one particular sound overwhelms the CD. This issue has the smiling Sleater-Kinney trio on the cover.
You’ll find the lack of coverage given to mainstream artists either refreshing or disturbing. I only wish this were a monthly.

01 Pohgoh “All Along” (All Along) New Granada,
02 Boyskout “Jesse James Remix” (School of Etiquette) Alive,
03 Silent Tongue “Everybody’s Scared of Being Vulnerable” (Everybody's Scared of Being Vulnerable) Silent Tongue,
04 Channing Cope “Blackbody Curves” (Sugar In Our Blood) North Park,
05 The Perishers “Sway” (Let There Be Morning) Nettwerk America,
06 Full Scale “Party Political” (Full Scale) Columbia,
07 Beneath Augusta “Get Yours” (You Gotta Come Down Sometime) Aporia,
08 The Beatings “Feel Good Ending” (My Space) Midriff,
09 Inara George “Fools Work” Everloving,
10 Street Dogs “In Defense Of Dorchester” (Back To The World) Brass Tacks/DRT,
11 Single Frame “Exact Copy Of This In The Basement” (Body/End\Basement) Volcom Entertainment,
12 Costy L. “War” (Pagan Tales) Factor 13,
13 Bourbon Princess “Minor Key” (Dark of Days) Accurate/Hi-N-Dry,
14 Greenlight Promise “A Song Is Worth A Thousand Pictures” (n A Mirror That Lied The Truth) Greenlight Promise,
15 Man Of The Year “Thank Your Stars” (A New And Greater Tokyo) Tiny Beat,
16 Suit Of Lights “Goodbye Silk City” (Suit of Lights) Visiting Hours,
17 Mando Saenz “Watertown” (Watertown) Carnival Recording Company,
18 Lismore “Come Undone” (We Could Connect Or We Could Not) Cult Hero,
19 Death From Above 1979 “Blood On Our Hands” (Your’e A Woman, I’m A Machine) Vice

Magnet's New Music Sampler # 37 is particularly strong. Most of the tracks are actually quite something, although I’m only going to focus on the few that left an immediate impression with me. Still, with even more repeated listens, I'm sure I would have latched onto more of the songs.

Boyskout’s School of Etiquette album came out in January, 2004, an eternity, by pop music standards. The remix of Jesse James has a dark, 80s feel to it. It’s a dance tune, rather than a bonafide song but its catchy.

Sway by The Perishers is mellow, piano driven indie-pop that begs more listens. Signed to Vancouver’s Nettwerk Productions, The Perishers are a four-piece from Umeå, Sweden and have been compared to other pop bands from the UK like Keane, Travis and Coldplay.

Full Scale’s “Party Political” is a throat-grabber exercise in aggression and this Australian band has been compared to the defunct Rage Against The Machine. Slashing thrash metal guillotine guitars combined with rhythmic raps. Korn would be proud of their sound. They are touted as being a killer live band and I think I would be inclined to check them out based on this one song.

“In Defense of Dorchester” by Street Dogs is a brief but rousing punk track, complete with incredible “who oh oh oh’ backing vocals. Sleek, raw but accessible punk.

Greenlight Promise remind me somewhat of Low with their quiet, atmospheric sound. This song drifts in and out of your consciousness and is one of those pieces of music that you can hear over and over again and not feel like you’ve had enough.

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