Various - The Coming Of The Railways

Mike Mantin 05/09/2005

Rating: 3/5

Indie music-wise, there aren't that many towns in the South (that aren't Brighton or London, anyway) that can churn 'em out like they seem to be able to up in the North. Chichester has Hope Of The States, Worthing has The Ordinary Boys and Southampton has, erm, Craig David, but that's about it. Awesome music site SouthScene wants to change that with this oddly-named sampler showcasing 19 groups trying to give the south a healthier musical reputation.

Naturally, as with almost all compilations, results are varied but, luckily, it only varies from really good to quite good. Keen-eared listeners will be able to spot some classy bands that could be on the radar relatively soon if Lady Luck is kind enough. The Sways' contribution, 'Way I Say', uses speedy, almost rap-like vocals to full effect, while Sine Star Project's effort, 'you', is a great indie-rock tune set to gorgeous guitar work. Elsewhere, the eclectic highlights continue to demonstrate the impressive variation on the album. Fleeing New York's 'Oh My God' is thankfully far grittier and more energetic than the Kaiser Chiefs song of the same name and previous GIITTV reviewees Scarlet Soho bring some electro-glam to the proceedings with the seedy 'Skin Trade'.

While some songs pass you by without denting your brain too much, there are thankfully few stinkers. 'Peepers' by Toupe unwisely combines pervy lyrics wtih cheesy slap-bass and Plastic Toys' cliched 'Super Freak' sounds far too much like Europop, but those are the only two really shocking contributions. 'The Coming Of The Railways' aims to provide an eclectic mix of genres and there are examples of bulging scenes of punk, indie and electro all growing healthily in the south. It's far from perfect, but SouthScene's first compilation unearths some interesting stuff in places music fans don't usually bother to look.