The Luxury Sounds of the Losing Blueprint
As far as such samplers go, this one is pretty decent. All of the artists represented here are relatively obscure, and they all specialize in various forms of mathy, angular rock. Whether it's acoustic soloist Andrew Wagner or Tristan Da Cuhna's epic jangly post-punk, almost every act featured here employs wicked time changes and jagged song structures. Suprisingly, there's still a solid mix of sounds. A few bands are on the amateur side, and almost every contribution would benefit from better production, but most of the songs are good enough to at least warrant further investigation of the artists behind them. The Method And Result begin the compilation with the highly intriguing "I Will Not Demand What I'm Worth"; they mix a hyperactive drummer with well- defined female vocals, then undercut it all with a flowing groove. Fiesel offers another stellar cut, sounding like a Slint/Frodus train wreck, and Popcannon's rock-with-horns-that-isn't-ska-or-swing is superb -- they have a knack for seamless melodies. Vaguely Star Shaped and Score One For The Fat Kid offer their takes on the Midwestern emo sound, and achieve favorable results, while The Nationale Blue pays homage to Rush with a bass chord-driven instrumental number that melds modern math rock with more traditional rock stylings.
At least half of the fifteen bands here will have at least some appeal to the average listener. That's as much as any compilation can hope.