Review: Various Artists

Various Artists
“Playing 4 Square 3”
(Suburban Home)

What happens when four different labels combine to form a compilation?  Hilarity ensues.  A quick look at the low/highlights from the 17 tracks: “Naïve” by The Jealous Sound (Better Looking) is really a pretty good shot of emo-punk, delivered by a golden-throated vocalist; Over It’s (Negative Progression) rocking “Blackball” is another winner, full of thick hooks and snappy riffs; Communique (Lookout!) sounds a lot like Jimmy Eat World and “Cross Your Heart” is the best song on the album; Helicopter Helicopter (Initial) provide a grooved out feel with “Helicopter Fight Song” and its Tom Pettyish influences; The Jazz June (Initial) combine the discordant, off-kilter guitars of Hot Rod Circuit’s older stuff with a fuzzy sound that is uniquely theirs, making “These Pills Won’t Calm Your Nerves” a muddled winner; Track Star (Better Looking) are masters of the tempo change and that’ll make you a fan of “Something to Do”; there’s a big Cars influence on Adventures of Jet’s “Emily Mazurinsky” and that’s a good thing; “When I’m With You, I’m OK” by Ultimate Fakebook isn’t their best song but the jazzy undertones are still there.  Wow.  I’m worn out.  That was a lot of listening.  So, what…23 tracks, 5 winners, you do the math, I’m too tired.