Bear Driver, Crayon, Yonderboy, The Old Romantic Killer Band, Peasman - Tip Toe Records Compilation

Richard Wink 31/07/2009

Rating: 4/5

Dominic Dean's Tip Toe Records is one of the more interesting up and coming micro indie labels in the UK. In a declining industry, labels such as Tip Top are pivotal for the future of emerging unsigned artists. Labels such as Tiptoe are the green shoots that might allow music to move more into a form of artistic expression then soulless commercial ringtone fodder. This compilation is a fine little taster, showcasing Tip Toes intriguing roster of artists. Of course the labels DIY approach, relying heavily on word of mouth, blogosphere hype and showcasing artists in local club nights does not guarantee instant success, that my friends is where you, the listener comes in. After reading this review you can seek out the bands featured on this album and hopefully check them out live yourself.

Understandably hampered by lack of resources there are only a two hundred copies of the compilation in circulation, but providing enough people talk about the compilation, things might snowball. Out of the sixteen bands featured on this album the vast majority fit the current infatuation with stripped back rustic sounding acoustic driven anti-folk and alt country indie; pretty boys with beards, girls in thrift store dresses, asymmetrical haircuts and chequered shirts but sweeping generalisations aside this is a commendable compilation, thoroughly listenable.

Channelling the devilish efficiency of twitter in less than 140 characters I shall briefly offer my penny's worth on each of the sixteen tracks:

The old romantic killer band - The devil and me
Got a bluesy, borderline rockabilly shuffle to it, devilishly jolly.

Bear Driver - A Thousand Samurais
Dreamy psychedelic pop, comforting like a jam sandwich.

Peasman - Rememnants
Light acoustic, a heartfelt and despondent effort from the Vessels guitarist.

Fists - Finger
Rampant country folk with a commendable solo.

Crayon - Wolverine and Bears
Haunting, the organs, stark and unrelenting take you to a dark place.

King Alexander - Shake Your Bones
Grotty garage punk, scrappy as heck but enticingly brilliant.

Ten - Negative landscape
Soothing electronica, would fit the soundtrack to a slow burning apocalypse.

Yonderboy - Frightened Rabbit
Soulful vocals, reminded me of Orange Juice.

Red Tress - Coast
In tune with nature, a simple yet beautiful song.

Essays Like Nephew - China pop
Thrusting indie, an energetic blue tit pecking a bird feeder.

Travels by Telephone - Like a magnet
Whiny pining, vocals a cross between that dude from New Found Glory and twee veteran Colin Clary.

Just Handshakes (We're British) - Operation Daybreak
A little on the twee side, but it will stick in your head for days.

Swimming - Crash the current
Excellent, worth checking out their album.

The Tailors - Found
Uneventful folk, folking hell indeed!

Out of the afternoon - This Ship is going under
Former members of the excellently underrated Crackout, former fans will be impressed.

Love Ends Disaster - Ladders
Jumpy, all over the place. Surprisingly interesting indie.