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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive

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Various Artists
Wantage USA's 21st Release Hits Omnibus
Wantage USA

Man, while I was getting all caught up in this synthetic '80s revival shit, I almost forgot to pay some well-deserved attention to the loads of rock bands shaking seedy dives and dirty basements all over the world. That is, until a compilation from Wantage Records showed up at my door. And, my lord, is it exhaustive. Compiled by Wantage founder Josh Vanek, the two-CD collection adds up to 47 songs. Now, if you like nasty, dirty, quirky underground rock music, there is no reason you shouldn't dole out the 10 or so bones for this comp. Not only will it give you a taste of what's been splitting ears and whetting D.I.Y. rock appetites in small towns everywhere (such as Missoula, Mont., Portland, Ore., Denver, Colo. and Bellingham, Wash.), but having this comp around is like having a couple of your favorite mix-tapes on hand.

While there is a consistent edge of loudness, grit and pleasant imperfection throughout, the collection mixes it up with disparate sounds, satisfying the need for variety. Whether it's loveable, tongue-in-cheek pop from Oblio Jones ("Good Neighbor"), the futuristic hardcore of Point Line Plane ("Descender"), rockabilly-informed punk rock from Hellgate Stranglers, or the groove-heavy angular punk rock of The Lights ("Your Boyfriend Has a Pretty Machine"), it all feels natural sitting side by side. Though the majority of the collection consists of tracks by U.S. bands, a few by Latvian underground bands — such as Skyforger (hard-hitting sludge metal), Enu Kabinets (quirky guitar-driven electro pop), and Balozu Pilni Pagalmi (minimal, galloping acoustic punk) — make their way into the mix, thanks to the fact Vanek used to live there. And that's just Disc One, which closes appropriately with a great country ditty from Last of the Juanitas' honky-tonk side project, Juanita Family and Friends, called "His Cold Heart."

Disc Two kicks off with some heavy metal (instrumental, black, death and otherwise) from Le Force, Federation X and Bloodhag (yes, in that order) before moving into the idiosyncratic, wiry punk-rock sound from Dub Narcotic (K Records founder Calvin Johnson's band) and, later, almighty thrashing, ass-kicking, hard, hard punk rock by Replicator. The Joggers offer the angular, technical indie-rock song "Hot Autism," while Volumen deliver catchy, cloudy post-punk with "Pandemonium." The Planet The's futuristic, robotic, electronic "Mouth and Hands" stands apart from the rest simply (and obviously) for its exclusion of the guitar.

Norway even shows up on the comp, thanks to the inclusion of "Drid Machine" by Norwegian heavy and ominous instru-metal act Noxagt. Disc Two closes with an impressive live version of "Extra Man" from the spiraling, out-of-control hard-rockers the Fucking Champs. Wantage USA's 21st Release is basically a documentation of everything Vanek dug at the time he put it together. And, with his ear to the dirty rock/metal/punk underground, you'll be glad he's the guy that mixed you the tape.

by Jenny Tatone

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