Various - San Diego Is Burning (Cover Artwork)


Various: San Diego Is BurningSan Diego Is Burning (2004)
Loud And Clear

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: greg0rbgreg0rb
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Loud And Clear's compilation obviously features San Diego bands, but what surprised me was the overall quality and diversity of the music on here. While this label was unknown to me, they put together a great collection of music and I was wrong to doubt this album. While I've only had previous exper.
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Loud And Clear's compilation obviously features San Diego bands, but what surprised me was the overall quality and diversity of the music on here. While this label was unknown to me, they put together a great collection of music and I was wrong to doubt this album. While I've only had previous experience with one band on here, No Knife, I was impressed by many of the others. Here are the highlights...

Comfortable For You brings the rock right away with a dual guitar assault and a sound akin to old Fugazi on the track "Double Barrel Breakfast Cereal." Kill Me Tomorrow are on Omar Rodriguez-Lopez's Gold Standard Labs label and have toured with Blood Brothers and currently Pretty Girls Make Graves, which made me pretty interested, but their fuzzed-out thumping and squealing on "Xerox My Hand" didn't win me over. The Black Heart Procession, a band I haven't heard of a lot but never actually heard, surprised me with an Old West-sounding tune, "From The Shores Of A Washed Up Heart," complete with mariachi trumpets and blasty trombone bringin' the bass. The feel is reminiscent of Murder By Death, which I like, but the song is too short. "Nasty Portion" by Sleeping People is an instrumental workout with intricate guitars and lots of odd meters and dynamic shifts. Hot Like (A) Robot I had heard in name only, and while their track "To Die For Glue" is solid melodic rock, it's one of the few previously released tracks on here.

The track I was waiting for was No Knife's "Riot For Romance" remix, which is done by the album's producer Greg Wales. The remix definitely makes the song a lot creepier, spacing out the guitar licks and putting a hell of a lot of reverb on them, adding in some harmonium and some ambient noises, and taking out all but a couple lines of vocals. This is all over fat beats, of course. Bunky mix things up a bit with "Rodents In Love", a 36-second spazzcore song from a drum and guitar duo, which is appropriately poorly recorded. Twenty First Century Lepers first hit me as just another retro rock band, but then the AC/DC vocals and the odd usage of synthesizers convinced me otherwise. The song ends with a climbing chromatic section then a fall to end the song; a surprising but welcomed finish.

Sin Sin 77 bring another twist to the comp on "Lies" with female-fronted new wave rock similar to the new Sahara Hotnights, and apparently this is a side project of Petey X of Rocket From The Crypt. The album ends on a mellower indie rock note, including a solo track by No Knife's Ryan Ferguson. He is not No Knife's vocalist, and that along with the simplicity of the song make it sound nothing like his full band. Hushed vocals, acoustic guitar and gentle keys make "Wait For Me There" quite a soothing track.

From abrasive to technical to mellow to electronic, this comp's eclectic nature gives it a lot of points in my book. Most songs being unreleased is another plus, and then on top of that, 50% of the profits go to the San Diego Humane Society, which works to prevent animal cruelty. I'd recommend this to anyone into underground music of any variety - it's one of the best comps I've heard in a while, and I don't tend to dig comps all that much.


People who liked this also liked:
Dinosaur Jr. - I Bet On SkyThe Hives - Lex HivesYou Blew It! - Grow Up, DudeJapandroids - Celebration RockBeach House - BloomThe Smiths - The SmithsThe Fagettes - Volumes 1 & 2 [cassette]Pretty Girls Make Graves - The New RomanceDead Ellington  - Refuse EPIslands - A Sleep & A Forgetting

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (March 31, 2005)

Well considering that the album cover is an actual picture of the 163 freeway in San Diego on fire, the title probably has everything to do with the firestorm. Instead of being so quick to get irritated with someone for stating what happened, take a look at what actually happened out here. San Diego hasn't been the same since.

Anonymous (March 28, 2005)

So you really believe that "is burning" is strictly a reference to the fires, and nothing else? That must be why it's in the present tense. I'm very tired of perpetually offended individuals.

Anonymous (March 26, 2005)

this comp was a benefit for the people and animals who lost their homes and were injured in the fires that raged through san digeo about two years ago. The "is burning" is a reference to the fires.

don't be so quick to make yourself look like an idiot.


bizzlebrizzle (March 26, 2005)

Hot Snakes is damn good.

So is Drive Like Jehu.

Anonymous (March 26, 2005)

Damn, if you like All Systems Go, definitely check out their full albums. RFTC, Scream Dracula Scream, Circa Now, etc.

As far as side projects, frontman John Reis has a kickass band called the Sultans. Their last album pretty much sounded like a RFTC album, so it's all good.

Another side project is the Hot Snakes. Dude from Drive Like Jehu (who also features John Reis on guitar, just like this band) is on vocal duty. Automatic Midnight is a great album. Each of those bands usually has at least one song with John on vocals. Good stuff.

Anonymous (March 25, 2005)

"Fuck Madonna / Truth or Dare / Egotisitc Millionaire"

Anonymous (March 25, 2005)

No Neighbors, no Swindle, no money from me!

Anonymous (March 25, 2005)

Blink 182 is/was from San Diego, they're punk right?

bizzlebrizzle (March 25, 2005)

Where the fuck is Gravity Records?

Antioch Arrow represent!

My thoughts exactly.

Gravity and 31G are the most important things out of San Diego.

Fucking Heroin, Swing Kids, Struggle, Antioch Arrow, Angel Hair, and all of Justin Pearson's billion side-projects.

Oh, and wasn't Battallion of Saints from San Diego as well?

Anonymous (March 25, 2005)

I agree, whats up with the "is burning" on everything? London's burning is the only good one in my book.

Anonymous (March 25, 2005)

what do you mean enough with the "...is burning"? san diego really was burning only about a year ago.

irish_joo (March 25, 2005)

where's swindle? and plot to blow up the eiffel tower?

Anonymous (March 25, 2005)

Where the fuck is Gravity Records?

Antioch Arrow represent!

8dollarclarinetsolo (March 25, 2005)

enough with the "is burning"?

maverick (March 25, 2005)

Murder By Death wishes they could be as good as the Black Heart Procession. And I like MBD.


gladimnotemo (March 25, 2005)

What are the best Rocket from the Crypt side projects? I've been listening to "All Systems Go 2" for a week, and grown to like it a lot; suggestions?

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