Tuesday, August 19, 2008


"You remind me of me because you don't like me..."

Artist: Various Artists
Album: Indiecater, Vol. One


1) Burning Codes - It's Alright (Belfast)
2) Slushco - Astronaut (Atlanta)
3) Storkboy Choons - Rockfield Symphony (Kells)
4) The E.L.F. - Cockroaches (Sydney)
5) Foreign Slippers - Packed The Car (Norrkoping)
6) Beaten Awake - You Remind Me of Me (Kent, Ohio)
7) Call To Mind - (Untitled) (Inverness)
8) Empty Rooms - We've Been Waiting for You (San Francisco)
9) Cymbals Eat Guitars - Share (New York)
10) Michael Knight - Dumbshow (Director's Cut) (Dublin)

This is a fascinating project: An internet-only compilation of small-time bands unable to get the promotion of major labels, put together by a good-hearted music blogger. This way, the bands get a bit of money and exposure, and the blog gets the attention gained from a new, exciting project being released. However, is the music any good?

Well, both yes and no. The music is quite good technically, and enjoyable to listen to, that's not debateable. Beaten Awake's "You Remind Me of Me" is very listenable; Michael Knights' puzzling "Dumbshow (Director's Cut)" manages to work (barely) despite having a lot of voices going 'ahhhhh' along with music; Storkboy Choons' "Rockfield Symphony" is a nice, shiny 80s-inspired song that I'll probably not listen to again; and Cymbals Eat Guitars' "Share" is a nice moody piece.

Foreign Slippers' "Packed the Car" is a sad, regretful piece that I rather like, with a female vocalist taking the lead. Call to Mind's untitled offering is one of the strongest, a quiet, echoing song best listened to with one's eyes closed. The E.L.F.'s "Cockroaches" is a bizarre tribute to the titular creature, but its fun to taps along to the beat. Empty Rooms' "We've Been Waiting For You" is a song that just feels massive and open, with echoing vocals and a stong beat underneath. Slushco's song, "Astronaut", is probably the warmest, most accessible song, and the one from the band I could easily see gaining greater success. And, finally, Burning Codes' "It's Alright" is a nice, simple song mostly composed of its title as lyrics sung by multiple voices, a little similar to ""Dumbshow (Director's Cut)".

In the long term, I can only see listening to maybe half the tracks on here more than once, but there's enough here to appear to a number of different tastes. One discouraging aspect is the tendency of these artists to overwhelm the vocals with haze and echoes, as it really does lessen the power of the singing. That said, it's a decent compilation, especially considering its genesis. I do hope future volumes will be stronger, though.

Slushco - Astronaut
Empty Rooms - We've Been Waiting For You

And don't forget, search for more at The Hype Machine; purchase albums or mp3's at Amazon, Amazon Canada, Amie St., cdbaby, or Insound, and listen at LastFM.


mp3hugger said...

Thanks a million for the lovely review. Volume 2 has just be released this evening so perhaps it will be even more to your liking. Let me know what you think.


mp3hugger said...

Volume 3 is out now - you can't beat progress!


Anonymous said...

I loved your blog. Thank you.