By Various Artists
I love art/goes/pop: they found me when they went looking and proceed to send me top quality compact discs like this little gem which compiles some of their glorious little upstarts onto one disc.
Well I've got to hand it to art/goes/pop: they really have the art of track listing down to a tee as this, their sampler starts off with the dreamy melodic delirium of The Low Miffs' 'Earl Grey'. Ooh and what a track one it is as far out musical arrangements tell the tale of one Earl Grey [no, not the tea] whose delinquency leads to a court appearance [and a fabulous crescendo] where 'Justice had been handed out!'. Leo Condie's vocals happily soaring with many a debaucherously frantic guitar, 'I smiled! Yes I smiled!' a perfect summary of the victorious feeling when justice is done in and out of the courtroom. To de-contextualise, Condie captures the furore the band are currently creating with his urgent panting 'I saw you! I saw you listening now!', cos the whole fucking world's listening to The Low Miffs... justice really has been handed out.
There's not much more that I can say about The Duloks' '[I'm Gonna Follow] Your Star Trail' other than it's one of those songs that I don't know how I'd lived without for so long. From Mira Duloks' weirdly wonderful vocals to the euphoric chant of 'I'm gonna follow your star [star star star] trail [trail trail trail]', everything about the track screams underground hit, the way it should be. 'Knowing that I'll fail' bluntly stating that although The Duloks will never be mainstream, they never set out to be and are quite happy that way.
I love Heads We Dance's 'Valmont Duels' with its stylishly synths-laden 'Bye bye because I'm leavin''. Words fail me. I can only describe the tune as a journey one is taken on, whisked off from this world and into another. Oh, glorious! True catharsis!
Popup are seriously mint and 'In Her Day' is a poppy slice of their trademark sound with a few references to real life, however shit it is. Name checking French Connection and transit vans ensure the band is in touch with reality and not in some higher place than we lowly music fans. Mmm and you even get a kiss of Damien Gilhooly at the end! Shivers down me spine!
Sick squelchy synths begin Stinky Munchkins' 'Release the Lions' and pave the way for an amazing track that's right out there with its random noises and screechy vocals providing a refreshing change from the norm. A deceptive calm before the storm of the chorus which brings us a devilish 'Tonight, release the lions' as the lyrics set the band apart from the rest by issuing said instructions as a girl has just taken her clothes off and run down the street. Stinky Munchkins are no one trick pony though, as the delightful and swift change to stripped down synthesised vocals and a defiant 'But I know that I'll be leaving tonight' prove.
Ahh South Central's 'Nothing Can Go Wrong' offers an almost orgasmic relief and uniqueness in an age where any fucking idiot can be deemed a genius after messing with UMyx software. Distorted vocals and a slick bass line whip 'em up like Christmas as the repetition of the song title and the track's main message becomes a rather pleasing form of audio sex. The zenith appears to have passed, but then the new rave outfit spring a surprise on we unsuspecting revellers as the bass and synths combination wins yet again. Ohhh yeaaahhhh.
The NURBS' 'The Only One' has an intro unlike anything I have ever heard. The winning formula of simultaneous male and female vocals with the former being even deeper than the latter works wonders with its implied sexual tension, 'Tell me that I'm the only one'. The band magic it up with some delicious vocal delivery and a mean instrumental showing that they're not afraid to [quite rightly] lay their talent bare by letting the music do the talking.
A clattering of noise leads into the bass fuelled 'For What It's Worth' of Ghost Fleet's careful crafting. The band really do live up to their name with an eerie 'ooh' effect and echoed female vocals of such talk as 'And if I get my energy back' suggesting an altogether life draining experience. A sound of gunshots is heard to add to the fucking terrifying effect. At last, music that really makes one sit up and listen from the ever-reliable art/goes/pop.
There's something about the releases from this label that I can't quite put my finger on but whatever the je ne sais quoi is, I'm just eternally grateful that it makes me thankful that I'm a Music Journalist and furthermore, hopeful that the rest of the world might one day catch up.