Notes From The Real Underground (Underground Inc/Invisible)
~reviewed by Mick Mercer
Ah, the underground! I guess this is meant to be relevant somehow, but I've never understood it. Maybe my lack of arcane training lets me down, but I always find that term idiotic, as though Psychic TV actually had an effect on people instead of being hippies in disguise.
You're quite correct, I digress! That argument isn't applicable here because it speaks of a development from the original Punk DIY ethos, and this double comp highlights 18 bands of varying styles, all of whom have one thing in common. Big Noise. It's a big noise alert, and delicate wallflowers won't want to be going within a five mile radius of copies of this record. I won't be either, having heard it once, because compilations rarely make sense to the neutral observer unless there's sufficient similarities to make it work as a whole record you can appreciate without too many peaks and troughs. And this is nearly all peaks, at bright, brusque volume, each track cantering into the next, like a daytrip for nutters.
Favourite? Well, the noise-dance brigade were all very clever and appealing, it's just that it never fully connects with me, but Synchro Nine Factor, Diablo Syndrome and StadtFisch certainly whinny with a sense of frivolity. Paul Melville's father writes a moving account of his son's funeral on the sleeve notes, and his tracks here show a bow-legged dance stance which is pumping nicely.
The melodic indiefunk of A New January is encouraging, the raucous crunch of ultra-melodic manglers Railer is fabulous, with Worm as nicely maddening as Torrent Vaccine are lovingly mood-embroiled. System Syn does just seem to be Moby in a matchbox, and Screaming Monkey Boner, you'll be astonished to learn, is like Mike Patton in a blender (not for too long, you know he'll only enjoy it!), and that's what happens underground.
So many bands, so few record labels.
RAILER - WHEN I SEE YOU AGAIN/KISS FIX