Art Brut, The Boyfriends, The Long Blondes, The Vichy Government, Luxembourg - Rip Off Your Labels: More Angular Product

Bill Cummings 07/07/2004

Rating: 3/5

Angular Records are in the vanguard of the new cross-punk scene that is currently bubbling under the surface in the UK music scene. This compilation takes in their eclectic range of bands and musical styles including electro, punk and indie. Highlights include opener "I Control Discourse" from Scottish electro ramblers the Vichy Government, a humourous stream-of-consciousness rant against capitalist materialism backed by a bleeping Casio keyboard. Elsewhere The Violets' "Stealer" is a perfectly pitched riot grrl assault on the senses, while The Fucks also create a beautiful noise on "Argos" sounding not unlike a female-fronted electro-influenced post-punk Cure. The Long Blondes also produce a pleasing post-punk sound on "Autonomy Boy" with its stabbing guitars and brilliant chorus.

Top of the Pops is a riot: all the bands are namechecked (including standard bearers of the label Art Brut, and the brilliant Rhesus) in a riotous rock out. The Boyfriends' single "No Tomorrow" brings a different dimension to this compilation with a perfectly pitched brand of melancholic indie, bringing to mind the work of the Smiths and Gene. Elizabeth Harper produces a delightful folk-pop sound on "Trouble In The Palace" with witty lovelorn lines like "I've got the Sunday paper on Saturday night": it's a wonderful song that deserves wider acclaim. Gifthorse's "Happy Daggers" is disturbingly dark, the vocals twisted and angular and a tune so frightening and raw and infectious it would scare the Cure from their slumber.

Overall a brilliant compilation that depicts a scene on the up; there are a few duff moments but that's to be expected. Whats most pleasing about this disk is that each song has a rereshing rawness and lo-fi feel to its production, each one attempting to twist the accepted wisdom of the indie sound. Rip up your labels and convert to Angular Records.