Don’t Get Too Tense
by Joshua Brown
A very hip compilation that deserves a band-by-band analysis. To start off, The Verve are everything you’ve heard about, and maybe a little more. Stylish heartache. Maids of Gravity have that “infectious groove” people keep talking about. They teeter on mildly dorky, but manage to make it work for them. Somewhere between Yo La Tengo and Simple Minds lie The Seymores. I remembered the song itself before I could remember who had sung it. Low contribute my favorite track on the comp, “Shame.” Listening to them is like watching a morning glory open up at sunrise. Slow but satisfying.
These Animal Men bring back the Buzzcocks and their late ’70s British punk pop glory. Small Factory play charming, but not terribly memorable, forlorn guitar pop that is a lot like Velocity Girl with the guy singing. The Acetone tune is a poor-me kinda blues number that’s decent, but I guess I’m not much of a fan of modern blues. If These Animal Men are the B-Cocks reincarnate, then S*M*A*S*H is Alternative TV, judging from “Another Love.” The band Daryll-Ann plays good, but displaced, classic rock with elements of Steve Miller and Elton John sans piano. To close off the comp, the sound of The Auteurs is like the alternative rock version of film noir.