The Weekly Music Magazine CD Sampler Review.
Every month, I read many music magazines. Several of them have sampler CDs that have both known and lesser-known artists. There’s nothing like the sense of discovery you feel when you stumble across a great song, for the first time. This column covers my sense of discovery of the tracks that made a strong impression on me.
In this first installment, I look at the sampler CD from CMJ New Music Monthly, which, curiously, isn’t a publication that you can subscribe to through Amazon.com. I’ve been a subscriber for about six years now. It’s apparently “…the first consumer magazine to include a bound-in CD sampler.” Without a doubt, the magazine covers mostly lesser-known artists, and they are to be applauded for giving exposure to some of the freshest performers in the indie and college radio world.
CMJ New Music Monthly Volume 130
VOLUME 130: ON THE CD
01. • SAGE FRANCIS “Dance Monkey” from A Healthy Distrust (Epitaph Records)
02. • KINGS OF LEON “The Bucket” from Aha Shake Heartbreak (RCA Records)
03. • GRATITUDE “Drive Away” from Gratitude (Velvet Hammer-Atlantic Records)
04. • …AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD “And The Rest Will Follow” from Worlds Apart (Interscope Records)
05. • ANI DIFRANCO “Manhole” from Knuckle Down (Righteous Records)
06. • DALEK “Culture For Dollars” from Absence (Ipecac Records)
07. • THE GOLDEN REPUBLIC “You Almost Had It” from The Golden Republic (Astralwerks Records)
08. • KASABIAN “Clubfoot” from Kasabian (RCA Records)
09. • BRANDTSON “King Of Pain” from Policia: A Tribute To The Police (The Militia Group)
11. • HIDDEN IN PLAIN VIEW “Bleed For You” from Life In Dreaming (Drive Thru Records)
12. • CHARACTER “Die In A Woman’s Lap” from We Also Create False Promises (Ficticious Records)
13. • LOVEDRUG “Blackout” from Pretend You’re Alive (The Militia Group)
14. • SNMNMNM “My Defense” from As Best We Can (Unschooled Records)
15. • RED MONROE “Sin City Serenade” from Meeting On A Train (3 Concentric Records)
16. • MOMMY AND DADDY “Confection” from Fighting Style Killer Panda (Kanine Recoreds)
These are the tracks that made an impression on me.
“The Bucket” by Kings of Leon. Bright and poppy with enough roughness to still have some indie cred. Touted by some as the southern Strokes. Read El Bicho’s Blogcritics review of Aha Shake Heartbreak.
“Drive Away” by Gratitude. The song is catchy indie rock but doesn’t sound all that distinctive. Still, well worth listening to. Craig Lyndall’s Blogcritics review is worth reading.
“And The Rest Will Follow” by …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead… – the craft in the songwriting is quickly apparent as the songs weaves teriffic melodies with the sheen-less indie sound and vocals. Not as raw and heavy as previous efforts. Are they evolving or selling out? The song absolutely begs more listens. Their 2002 album Source Tags and Codes is a much-celebrated gem.
“Culture For Dollars” by Dalek. Industrial, clanky opening, hip-hop beats, brooding, atmospheric sound. Droning, bleak, but captivating sound from an innovator.
“Clubfoot” by Kasabian. Explosive sounding indie rock with a more commercial beat. Intriguing sound, more dark than fun. Reminds me more of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club than anything else.
“I Close My Eyes” by Shivaree. Torchy, twangy and jazzy. Not an obvious hit but a fine mid-tempo listen.
“Bleed For You” by Hidden in Plain View. This song, inspired by two women who were rape victims and friends of the band, packs a lot of emotion and displays fine chops, but it also sounds indistinguishable from so many other bands indie rock bands.