"A truly great compilation from one of theee premier independent labels, covering the last ten years or so of recorded output. "
Chemikal Underground Records – Chem 087 CD+DVD
A truly great compilation from one of theee premier independent labels, covering the last ten years or so of recorded output. May I say at this point that it is well worth the purchase? And I say this as no lover of Arab Strap, or Interpol or Mogwai. Nevertheless, their contributions on here (as with most of the other band's tracks) are outstanding. Oh, and the DVD is for once very enjoyable indeed with large contributions from Arab Strap and The Delgados.
Starting off with a typically downbeat slice of wit from Arab Strap (I Work in a Saloon) the compilation's essentially Scottish and acerbic nature is carried on with great aplomb with De Rosa's Catholic Braes. A gently persuasive pop song, it's not a million miles away from postcard Go-Betweens in mood. Following that, Interpol's 5 is a cracking spiky instrumental, at times sounding like an angry Moscow Olympics. Malcolm Middleton's Break My Heart is a pleasantly maudlin jig laced with his own very mordant brand of wit.
I also enjoyed Mother and the Addicts Oh Yeah You Look Quite Nice, a deranged derailed stomp replete with an echoing guitar and daft keyboard wibbling. British Meat Scene's Shatner's Tactic stood out from the crowd, a colourful patchwork of jazzy trumpets, silly noises, time changes and samples. Most enjoyable, as is Sluts of Trust thrilling guitar charges on Piece of You. The last three tracks should also be mentioned, Mogwai's Year 2000 Non-Complaint Cardia is typical Mogwai; abstract, morose and tenacious. Bis's Brainclouds, with its weepy synths well to the fore reminded me of Reel to Reel Cacophony era Simple Minds; something like Factory. Not that it sounds remotely like Factory, rather that the two songs share a common melancholy. Finally The Delgados' American Trilogy finishes things off with aplomb. The track builds to a rousing, life- affirming finale as all curtain calls should.
Words: Richard Foster.