Various Artists - 4x12
Volume Two in the Dance To The Radio 12 inch singles series, neatly packaged here for the idle reviewer on a new contraption called a compact disc (can't see it catching on!). It's certainly a mixed bag of hard and soft centres, going from indie pop to electro, via punk and rap. Here's the line-up:-
Suckers - It Gets Your Body Moving - Brooklyn quartet who come on like The Polyphonic Spree, with a swirling melody and almost primal beats, building up nicely into a united swaying chant professing to, well, get you body moving. And you know what, it does!
Holy State - Jagged Lines - Harking from Leeds, this lot make one helluva racket. A backbeat more akin to post-grunge, with impassioned vocals that haul it into the punk arena and a concentration of sound that works well. They cite Fugazi as an influence and that's clear to hear. Best heard live, but energetic enough to stand out here.
Das Racist - Rainbow In The Dark - An awkward fit this one, but at least illustrates the diversity in genres the label promotes, and hats off for that at least. Rap, more than any other genre, relies heavily on lyrical content and that's maybe where this falls short. Much of it references a range of foodstuffs and then enters twaddle with lines like “I'm afraid of clowns, I'm afraid of small towns, positive energy, 'cause something like I'm afraid of all frowns”. Only Eminem could pull that one off!
Bear Driver - Mind Attack - Another Leeds band who are cited as performing psycho pop. It's got plenty of drive and loads of “ooo ooo ooo”'s bouncing along on top of an infectious beat. If you're into Crystal Castles or The Ting Tings then this may well work for you, so check it out.
The vinyl selection is available in a limited edition batch of 500 from the label's website and includes MP3's of the same tracks. The CD stays with me!
Dance To The Radio Official Website