By Various Artists
It's so refreshing to hear something that sounds totally unique to what you're used to. For me it means taking media player off random (which I keep hoping will find me some great B-side) and searching through the endless 'unsigned' band pages that litter the internet. Anyone that has ever tried this will testify that you generally end up listening to some pretty awful stuff. So when the opportunity to review this CD came up I quickly took it.
All four acts that feature on this compilation were the winners of said competition and were given the opportunity to record an EP with professionals, which is obviously an experience that very few unsigned bands can ever afford. Each act, from the tracks on the CD, have done a great job of really using the opportunity. All four songs are really polished and have ensured a regular place on my latest playlists. All four acts have to be commended for their fresh approach to music which at no point in the 16 minute runtime is anything but exciting.
The Edinburgh funk outfit Abdominal Showmen are up first with their great track "The Amazing Frog Eating Bat". At just 2 ½ minutes, this is rapid assault on your senses, something that I often wished wouldn't end (which is the reason I'm searching for their resultant EP "Ourang-Ourang"). You can't try to make sense of them, so you might as well just sit back and have fun.
Monkeytribe, on the other hand, get all moody with slinky female vocals over fat bass beats. I checked out their website and found a few more gems, but none quite as good as "Ghosts On The Highway" which is featured here. However, underground electronic hip-hop doesn't get much more interesting than this.
Three Comrades, with "Over and Over", remind me of a great power-pop outfit called Farrah. Actually, they remind me of a few more bands... but I think Farrah are the closest I could get to. Their lively effects laden riffs would make great summertime listening. However right now it all seems a little inappropriate. Although they're a great act with a catchy tune, it all seems like it's been done to death by artists just that bit better.
Lastly comes the laid back beats of Bouchereau, bringing me back down to earth with their mellow groove "Wish Me Well". This one is on repeat! Cool guitars meet rhythmic vocals that would be as at home on a hot beach in the pacific as the streets of New York. The beat, the soul, the rhythm... it all combines to make one hell of a tune.
So that's it, and it's over so quickly. All the EPs would be well worth a look in, especially if you like to uncover new music. Get out there... and avoid the tripe.