by Brian Varney
Label compilations are releases I generally avoid, unless they contain a specific track I need to hear, usually an unreleased song by a band I like. In the case of Theft, Arson, Vice, Murder and Death, that track is “My Cannonball,” an otherwise unreleased track by my favorite boogie heathens Lamont. In addition to providing a much-needed boot in the gut, “My Cannonball” also acted as something of a gateway track since, thanks to it, I discovered a bunch of really cool stuff I wouldn’t’ve otherwise heard.
Theft, Arson, Vice, Murder and Death is not really a label compilation in the true sense, since the vast majority of the 22 tracks included are not by Traktor7 artists, but I’ll assume it reflects the tastes and personalities of the folks behind the label. In any case, this is one of the most eclectic compilations I’ve ever heard, full to the brim with cool stuff ranging from the electronic scat-jazz of the Stu Walker track which shares its title with the compilation, to the deconstructionalist folk-blues weirdness (Railroad Jerk fans take note!) of Grubstake‘s “Recession Blues 2001,” also stopping along the way for some psych-flavored ’80s indie-pop courtesy of “I Love Trouble” by The Information and a basement-quality but scorching old-school thrash blur in “Burning Away” by Ohio doomsters Abdullah. These tracks don’t even begin to explicate the disc’s splatter-gun range, but if you like anything in Traktor7’s discography, or if anything I’ve mentioned sounds intriguing, you’re bound to find at least one more song to love, since the quality of the songs is surprisingly strong throughout. You can get copies for $5 a pop direct from Traktor7, so there’s really no way to lose at all. Other contributors are Black Helicopter, Rebreather, Blacktail, Wetnurse, Wyoming, Peeping Tom, The Does, Drug War, The Model Sons, The Hidden, We’re All Gonna Die, Ichabod, A .45 to Pay The Rent, Capitol Radio, The Stoves, Shanghai Valentine, and Fast Actin’ Fuses.
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