Various - 80 Records And We're Not Broke (Yet) (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


80 Records And We're Not Broke (Yet) (2005)

Level Plane

80 records and Level Plane has still managed to not only not go broke (yet), but also retain a lot of credibility, at least in this writer's opinion.

Level Plane's two-disc compilation is definitely worth picking up if you enjoy the main portion of their bands. Or, well, if you, yourself, want some cred. The discs also prove to many nay-sayers that Level Plane isn't just about experimental, artsy hardcore.

Disc one, the label sampler, begins with a relatively mellow track from recent signees the Holy Shroud. "Calling In Confederate Debts" may strike one as somewhat of a misfit track, yet the distinct familiarity to At The Drive-In makes it undeniably appealing. The comp's more fitting track comes from Bucket Full Of Teeth, a band who has one of its members listed as "guitar, chaos, and vocals." Whether this one fellow is responsible for the chaos that their song, "Capital Distracts And Imprisons" provides, I don't know for certain. I do, however, know that BFOT produce atmospheric feats that even the Locust have yet to master.

Another standout track, "Binaire Et Lisible," from Amanda Woodward, truly gives French hardcore a good name. The sound, reminiscent of early-90's Drive Like Jehu, retains a strong and emotional feel without succumbing to the qualities that make a lot of today's music redundant. A Level Plane compilation without the talents of Billy Werner, in some way, shape, or form, would not be complete. Hot Cross' "Better A Corpse Than A Nun" is a perfect addition to the comp. The same could be said for Lickgoldensky where, until about two minutes into the song, resembles solid metalcore. The sound then produced cannot be described by this writer. City Of Caterpillar puts an end to disc one's label sampler - and they do it well.

Disc two of unreleased material opens with a Gravity-influenced track from A Day In Black & White. Neil Perry, who in their time of existence boasted members of both You & I and Red All Over, add an instrumental track to the off-the-wall conglomeration that is Level Plane's compilation.

While the fourteen-track second disc of the compilation cannot compete with the first, hearing both live and unreleased material from bands no longer around, does present itself as a novelty.