Various Artists: Kill Rock Stars 20 Year Anniversary Sampler

Free sampler, so right into it….

  • Very good, especially for a label’s sampler, except for an awful stretch from tracks six through nine.
  • Kind of surprised just how many good artists Kill Rock Stars has had

Song Notes:

  1. Elliot Smith: “Doubt” – I am pretty sure I’ve covered this elsewhere.  It was on Either/Or and I kept it but I think that was pre-like, which is fine.  So it’s an open heart.
  2. The Thermals: “Now We Can See” – Would have been keep.  The oh way oh oh oh part is annoying, but the rest of the song is easily full material.
  3. Gossip: “Standing In The Way Of Control” – Where do I know this from?  Best song on here.
  4. Thao & Mirah: “Eleven” – Would have been keep.
  5. Milagres: “Glowing Mouth (Radio Edit)” – Would have been keep.  “She said: Son you better get used to believing/In things that you can’t see”
  6. Xiu Xiu: “I Luv The Valley OH!” – Pretty annoying vocals.  It has its moments, but on the whole this is really annoying.
  7. Grass Widow: “Fried Egg” – Pretty bad and I think awfully forgettable, too.  In some ways (the frenetic pacing and atonal shouted vocals) the verses are like a less noisy, way less interesting Melt Banana song.  But then the chorus is really boring.  And the production seems to highlight the fact that they can’t play their instruments.
  8. Gospel Music: “Automobile [ft. Tracyanne Campbell]” – Terrible.  Terribly annoying.  Ouch, we’re in a real bad stretch of at least three songs here.  Three minutes of torture.  The vocalist in the spelling part sounds a bit like Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth.
  9. Bratmobile: “Die” – Snotty punk just like the name suggests.  It’s listenable but you have to be in just the right mood.  And I think more often than not I hate this.
  10. Sleater-Kinney: “Dig Me Out” – So awesome.  Second-best song here.
  11. Bikini Kill: “New Radio” – The first band you think of when you think of Kill Rock Stars.  Such a distinct voice and vocal delivery.  “Let’s wipe our come on my parent’s bed.”
  12. Marnie Stern: “Transparency Is The New Mystery” – Kind of an annoyingly blah and off-key intro.
  13. Deerhoof: “Believe E.S.P.” – I do like this one quite a bit.  Some cool rhythms.
  14. The Corin Tucker Band: “Doubt” – Very good.  Would have been keep.  Sounds an awful lot like her former band, Sleater-Kinney.
  15. Unwound: “Corpse Pose” – Pretty good, but pretty forgettable, too.
  16. Quasi: “Repulsion” – Sounds very familiar, but I don’t have the album this is on, nor is it on the mix from J-mez.
  17. The Boats: “T.V. Scientist” – Pretty cool, but the chipmunky voice is a bit unsettling.  Probably would have been like.
  18. The Decemberists: “16 Military Wives” – I think I might actually like this.  I know I like this, but what’s going on with me not hating on the last few Colin Meloy songs I’ve heard?  Love the horns.  What is that low one?  Trombone?  Would have been keep.
  19. Thao: “Bag Of Hammers” – Didn’t I cover this on that iTunesU playlist?  Yes, during my brief time on Blogger.  Somehow it got mix there.  I believe in my review of this the first time I said it was mix not because it was that good but because it evoked a very particular, fairly unique mood.  But it is driving me nuts now.  I mean, I’d drop this down to like in the old system, so I’ll keep it as open now, given that it is enjoyable in the right moods.
  20. Horse Feathers: “Curs In The Weeds” – Why do so many vocalists on this album sound so familiar?  I don’t hate this, but it doesn’t do anything for me, and it sounds really derivative.

Rating:
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Full: “Standing In The Way Of Control” (Gossip), “Dig Me Out” (Sleater-Kinney), “New Radio” (Bikini Kill), “Repulsion” (Quasi)
Open: “Between The Bars” (Elliott Smith), “Now We Can See” (The Thermals), “Eleven” (Thao & Mirah), “Glowing Mouth (Radio Edit)” (Milagres), “Transparency Is The New Mystery” (Marnie Stern), “Believe E.S.P.” (Deerhoof), “Doubt” (The Corin Tucker Band), “Corpse Pose” (Unwound), “T.V. Scientist” (The Boats), “16 Military Wives” (The Decemberists), “Bag Of Hammers” (Thao)
Broken:
“I Love The Valley OH!” (Xiu Xiu), “Fried Egg” (Grass Widow), “Automobile [ft. Tracyanne Campbell]” (Gospel Music), “Die” (Bratmobile), “Curs In The Weeds” (Horse Feathers)

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