Various - (coles) Notes From Underground (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


(coles) Notes From Underground (2002)

Underground Operations

"(coles) Notes From Underground" is much like an audio-scene report from Ajax, Ontario and the surrounding areas. While just a sampler from the young Underground Operations label, this compilation is an incredibly well developed and thoughtfully packaged album. There are four bands on here, each contributing a studio track and an unreleased song.

Bombs Over Providence have a post-punk "screamo" sound that thankfully packs enough muscle to be closer to Hot Water Music than… say… Thursday. Protest The Hero is a speedy melodic hardcore band with snotty vocals resembling earlier Propaganhdi. Marilyn's Vitamins are a similar styled band who broke up a few years ago. I've heard those with knowledge of the Ontario scene talk about with admiration. They sound the most confident out of the four groups here. Rounding out the quartet is Closet Monster, a band with dual-vocals that sounds a bit like the bastard lovechild of Dillinger Four and Anti-Flag. They've probably got the most public name recognition on here thanks to their Much Music play.

A lot of these bands share members, so it's not surprising that the songs on "Notes From Underground" fit together well musically as well as thematically (standard leftist-punk fare, not that I'm complaining). Furthermore, all the tracks were recorded at the same studio and in a relatively close time period, giving this sampler the feel of a fully developed album. While none of the bands here are particularly groundbreaking, this just may become one of those later appreciated "artifact" compilations that quite accurately defines a place-in-time for an entire scene.