Various - Holiday Matinee, Volume 2 (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Holiday Matinee, Volume 2 (2000)

Better Looking

Compilations are one those extremely hit-or-miss entities. Sometimes you'll get one that has 30 tracks, only 2 or 3 of which are worthy of repeat listenings. Other times, the whole album is so good you almost feel bad playing only a song or two, almost like you're neglecting the rest of the bands. This is definitely a case such as the latter. Holiday Matinee has done a fantastic job of assembling some of today's best groups, and even squeezing some unreleased material out of their collective pockets. Wheat, No Knife, The Album Leaf, The Good Life, and Vue, to name a few bands, all contribute brand new songs, and The Faint throw in yet another wicked remix of "The Passives". Now, add on to that list Cursive, Bright Eyes, Tristeza, The Mercury Program [who, after hearing, I am now in love with -- they sound like a more hyperactive Karate], and Sunday's Best all throwing in recent material, you have one hell of a CD. No Knife's "Flechette" proves once again how incredibly awesome this band is, and gets me even more excited for their new album. The Good Life, fresh on the heels of their outstanding new album, contributes "Tell Shipwreck I'm Sorry," which I am now praying they will play when I see them this Saturday; they are a standout in a crowd of above-par bands. Wheat's "Flat Black" is a nice, mellow, song, which is a perfect leadoff track. The best thing about this compilation [and trust me, it is hard to pick just one thing] is the incredibly smooth transition from band to band. Wheat's lo-fi pop quietly slips into No Knife's blast of intensity. The Album Leaf's extremely laid-back groove leads into the straight up rock of Cursive's "The Radiator Hums." Each tracks compliments the tracks surrounding it, which in turn makes the CD as a whole flow, which is a rarity in compilations these days. Kudos to Holiday Matinee and Better Looking Records for actually thinking about the order of bands. The only tracks I personally don't enjoy are the Bright Eyes and Vue songs. I don't care too much for either band, but that doesn't mean their material is of any less quality. This CD is worth every penny it costs; don't miss out.

Wheat - Flat Black
No Knife - Flechette
Cursive - The Radiator Hums

Real Audio
Bright Eyes - The Calendar Hung Itself

[taken from A different kind of greatness webzine]