By Various Artists
Bloody students, what do they know? They come to your city bringing their vital contribution to the local economy, eating an inordinate amount of take away pizzas, disturbing residents who have lived here for years and then some of them have the nerve... ooo the nerve to start bands and get involved by putting on gigs and playing songs from local bands on their own radio station. Good golly, is there no end to their meddling? Nope because now they have opinions as well and are releasing compilation albums, it's ok sit down and just breathe. Of course it's a mere jest, fortunately Leeds has a rich history of students getting involved with its music scene, in fact as soon as there is a whiff of success they are quickly branded as having always come from Leeds and given the proverbial keys to the town. In this case it's LSRFM (or Leeds Student Radio FM if you prefer) who have industriously spent more time on this than their degrees and put out another compilation of local talent (because to be honest there just weren't enough already). For the most part our compilers have a good ear, although a few spacer fillers have crept their way on board.
The Chiara L's get things off to a riot girl-lite start and Vinyl Collide are also sprightly with chipper guitar work. The Smokestacks only seem to have recorded one song as it crops up yet again here with the same enthusiasm. Jon Gomm is an undoubted live talent, but on record the clichéd "Hey Child" is a dull collection of clicks, delay and an unwanted guitar solo, more showing off than serenading. Nick Rasle on the other hand is a real delicate talent and his wavering tones and gently picked acoustic is pure ear-pleasing poetry. Although "tipped for the top" wherever that is, The Johnsons sadly feel more like Arctic Monkeys skanking copyists, inoffensive but that's probably the problem. Napoleon IIIrd and his one man collection of tape machines, loops and hair always make for an intriguing aside, but the painful line regarding the song's lack of value when sung to the man in cash converters begins to become far too knowing after several listens. Sheffield's Balor Knights are probably not singing about local veteran promoter John Keenan but it would be nice to imagine the upbeat skiffle-punk of "Just Cos Keenan Says So" was some odd tribute. Red Go Green Stop sound not unlike a female fronted Zutons replete with Sax, but fear not, as this is miles better and far more 6Music than Radio 2, which can only be good thing. Which is followed by Screaming Mimi who serve up an excellent sassy surf-tone sound. Both these two make for further investigation. Things fade out a little with the skiffle blues of Frankie Eisenhower, which just doesn't do quite enough and proceedings are brought to a cheap end by Micky P Kerr with his hit and miss ode to his own website. Some smiles, but too many winces make for a mixed journey that would probably feel a lot funnier in the school common room for its "clever" swearing than it does in isolation here.
A tidy offering and in not wanting to miss a trick we're probably talking about a 2:2 with honours.