Various - This Is Indie Rock: Vol. 2 (Cover Artwork)


This Is Indie Rock: Vol. 2 (2005)

Deep Elm

To me, compilations mean headaches and heartaches. Headaches because they're invariably stuffed with 24 bands of varying low quality and, if you're very lucky, one or (and this is rare) more good songs. Heartache because these good bands have most likely broken up before getting anything released. For these reasons, I don't buy compilations as a rule, and if I happen to come across one on loan or sent as a promo, it gets the compulsory first-thirty-seconds-of-each-song-chuck-it-in-the-drawer.

However, This Is Indie Rock is that most rare of things - a good compilation. Scratch that, a great compilation - every last song is a killer, with no filler despite barely any thread holding these bands together sonically. What makes it more extraordinary is that all of these bands are relative unknowns, this being part of Deep Elm's "Best Bands You've Never Heard" series, hand picked for this release.

This lack of pressure to come up with "name" bands makes for a wonderfully eclectic mix, going seamlessly from the folk-electronica of opener Maxel Toft, to the Hot Water Music-like Jena Berlin, the Led Zepplin-ish rock of Cameran, on through the old-school blues of Sedona and so on. And even amidst such quality, there are still standouts, such as the aforementioned Jena Berlin and the Husker Dü-like melancholic rock of the New Lows, whose "Cold Shivers" feels immediately like the first time you heard your favourite band, and could quite possibly be.

Anyone with so much as a passing interest in indie, rock or emotional punk should pick up this CD. Anyone with a vested interest in unknown bands should already have this. Either ways, what you get for your money is twelve incredible bands, playing twelve incredible songs. Nothing short of essential.

[originally written for]