Yes, the Blang label have been putting out cool records for 10 years now and this compilation is a celebration of the label's output.
It mixes bands I have heard of with those I've reviewed or know about and a few I've not heard of, but either way this is an interesting compilation. It kicks off with Why Should The Devil Have All The Good tunes by compilation staples Milk Kan. I think this is the third or fourth tune of theirs I have on a comp and this is a very cool modern toast that tips its hat too everyone from Hank Williams to the Velvet Underground and beyond the sort of Reggae toasting that Paolo Nutini wishes he could pull off.
Sheepy are the first band I've not heard before and their tune Ket Party doesn't have the full on nosebleed techno beats you may connect with falling into a k-hole. Instead it's ramshackle indie noise and not at all bad. I know more about the live bills Thee Cee Cees have been on than about their music and Soap Box is not at all bad as a catchy indie tune that would sound good on the Evening Session in the Steve Lamacq era.
Emily Capell asks what is one of those questions that has no easy answer. Yes Who Killed Smiley Culture and the circumstances surrounding his death are worthy of further investigation and no this isn't a pop-reggae song but a strummed anti-folk number with very matter of fact vocals that make me want to hear some more of her songs. Whereas Paul Hawkins & The Awkward Silences' It Takes A Nation Of Idiots To Hold Me Back marries a laid back indie song to some interesting lyrics. It also has a bit of a 60's soundtrack feel to it like it could be from the Alfie soundtrack.
Damn, does Filthy Pedro have any other tunes apart from Rock & Roll Points? I know I have at least 2 other versions of this classic tune by them and as much as I love the song and am pretty much able to sing along with it, it's about time I heard something else by them or are they a one song band? Oh and this version has a really cool bass break in it.
Ah Malcolm Kaksois is one of those perpetual bottom of the bill support acts I've seen three or four times without really wanting anything by him so I'm surprised by how much I like Sexy Dentist. It's much better than his live performances have ever been and is worth hearing. Well I really liked the album by Lucy's Diary that Revolving Doors comes off and I still really love her nicotine-stained vocals. They are a bit, well, My Drug Hell over a twisted tune about the ever revolving door of boyfriends.
Next up is Legendary Resonance Radio DJ Dexter Bentley with his tribute to Arthur 'Killer' Kane where he turns the film New York Doll into a rather nifty folk rock song. This is an excellent song and a real highlight. It needs to be heard by all New York Dolls fans. We then go to Sergeant Buzfuz for a song from the band's recent album that I didn't particularly like and yes, heard as one song in isolation, Truth & Lies works a lot better than as a track on Balloons For Thin Linda. Decent Anti Folk.
Talking Anti-folk veterans, from that same scene David Cronenburg's Wife are next with Johnny Bentham's Dilemma. It has an almost drone-rock feel to it; a very simple riff over which they tell a twisted tale complete with some ringing phones in the background. Slate Islands, however, take things in a much more traditional folk direction with the very nice Internal Exile about a man who drinks. The singer reminds me of Maddy Prior or Sandy Denny and this is a very cool folk song indeed.
Deptford Shore was the closing track on Matt Dolphin's excellent Eighth House album that I remember liking when I reviewed it. A rather beautiful downbeat tune with some really nice violin on it. Then comes possibly the best track on the album, The King Of Leyton, by Crash & The Disasters where he claims to be King Of Leyton. How can he be, there is only one real king of Leyton, Lawrie Cunningham will always and forever be the king of Leyton and this King never signed autographs while jogging over Hackney Marshes. Until he can he will be an impostor to me but hell, it's a great tune nonetheless.
Keeping the cheeky grin on its face are Corporal Machine and The Bombers' Five A Day which sounds every bit as good as it did on Richard Feaver Is Still In Goal. It's all a bit Supergrass go Essex boy racer; just great fun. We then get Oculus III's remix of Sweden by David Cronenburg's Wife that makes it sound like a tune by Hedngarna or Garmarana. It ends up being quite mesmeric.
The next band have a real mouthful of a name - Dan Edelson And The Orchestra Of Cardboard. Their tune, Germans In Space, is a bit weird to me, I expected a song about Krautrock, but instead it's a song about actual Germans going into outer space!! The album closes with Thomas Truax and March Winds which Is an odd choice as this one sounds so normal it doesn't make his instruments sound at all strange or odd as his best work does.
Still this is an excellent compilation from a very cool label, so no complaints.
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