Indie Compilations & Label Samplers Indie Rock Music

Infecting The Galaxy One Planet At A Time (a Sub Pop Sampler, 2003)

As the result of one of my Song of the Day posts, I remembered this amazing compilation album which I used to love. Infecting The Galaxy One Planet At A Time is a 2003 label-sampler by the indie label Sub Pop (particularly famous for introducing the world to Niravna & infamous for losing Nirvana to major label Geffen).

Unfortunately, this isn’t available on Spotify etc. so I was forced to buy a new physical copy online. I ordered it a couple of days ago & it arrived today. It features a great selection of music which runs the whole gamut of early ’00’s indie rock music.

It begins with old-guard grunge-rock heavyweights Mudhoney with a song from what still feels to me like their new album (despite being 18 years old) SinceWe’ve Become Translucent, Sonic Infusion.

Ugly Casanova’s Things I Don’t Remember is synthy Indie rock with lyrics alledgedly taken from a stolen Modest Mouse notebook.

Fruit Bats’ Rainbow Sign is hippy dippy ’60’s-esque Psyche Pop par excellence.

Rosie Thomas and Iron & Wine are Lo-fi Indie Folksters, perfectly at home on Sup Pop.

The Shins Past And Pending, like Fruit Bats, owes a lot to ’60’s Psyche Pop.

Post-Punk Revivalists like Hot Hot Heat & The Rapture both contribute excellent tracks. The eminently danceable Get In Or Get Out by the former & the jagged, dancefloor smash Out Of The Races And On To The Tracks by the latter.

No Culture Icons by The Thermals was an early taste of the great things to come from the trashy Lo-Fi Indie Punks.

Michael Yonkers Band are like a ’60’s version of Johnathan Richman. The Murder City Devils & The Catheters deliver two tracks of noisy distorted Rock & Roll which celebrates how much the two artists love noisy distorted Rock & Roll.

Arlo deliver some Punky Power Pop with Runaraound.

Pleasure Forever come across like an American version of The Fall on Post-Punky jam, Axis Exalt.

Kinski’s epic Semaphore takes a heavily modulated guitar line & transphorms it into a Post-Rock soundscape with morse rhythms built into a swirling wall of sound.

We’re back into Indie Folk territory with Damon & Naomi’s pleasant squeeze box & acoustic guitar composition, Eye Of The Storm.

The Postal Service’s The District Sleeps Tonight is electronic, synthesised Indie Pop which is quite popular in 2020, but was fairly unique in 2003.

Sadcore Indie Rock closes the album with the melancholic near-psychedelia of Holopaw’s Cinders.

This album is a powerful artefact of the early ’00’s. Many of the bands on here are no longer around & somewhat forgotten, while others are well known & well respected now, considered classics & enjoyed by many in the Indie Rock community.

I really like the spacefaring aesthetic of the artwork & things like the baggy, hoody-like quality of the spacesuit the back cover astronaut is wearing.

If you can find a copy I highly recommend picking it up. If you cannot, then you can always make the tracks from it into a playlist on whatever streaming platform you use.

Until next time…

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