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Indie Compilations & Label Samplers Indie Rock

Terminal Sales Vol. 2: This Delicious – a Sub Pop sampler

This Delicious is the 2006 Sub Pop sampler, & the second in the Terminal Sales series. I don’t remember this one as well as the previous ones I’ve written about, but I did enjoy it & I may have made a CD-R copy from a friend’s back in the day. I can neither confirm or deny this. Primarily because I honestly don’t remember.

Band Of Horses open proceedings with the elegiac, Alt Country of The Great Salt Lake. A high quality, polished, commercial radio production reminds us how Sub Pop doesn’t have a unique sound, per se. Nevertheless, there is a common, hard to describe, vibe that unites the differing sonic styles of Sub Pop artists.

Our old friends, The Thermals

As if in direct contradiction to the high fidelity production of the previous track, our old friends The Thermals are back with the barnstorming Pillar Of Salt from their incredibly ambitious lo-fi, punk concept album, The Body, The Blood, The Machine. The rough production enhances the fuzzy, aggressive guitar work & the impassioned, quasi-heroic vocals. An anthem for the resistance of the new American puritanism that The Thermals were raging against at the time, Pillar Of Salt is compelling & thrilling Indie Agitrop at its finest.

Oxford Collapse’s Let’s Vanish is cheery, upbeat & atmospheric. Melodic, fuzzy Indie Pop with the trademark New York hipster cool. Perhaps a few years too late for Oxford Collapse, this would have been quite a lot more successful if it was released during the immediate wake of The Strokes debut.

CSS

With the twin cultural forces of the early ’00’s Post Punk revival & the rise of Electroclash artists like LCD Soundsystem, Sub Pop were always going to get a slice of that pie. CSS’s classic Let’s Make Love And Listen To Death From Above uses a funky synthesised bass line, motorik drum machine programming & bored sounding vocals. The song is widely assumed to be about the Canadian Post Punk band, Death From Above 1979.

Always For You by The Album Leaf is lo-fi Indie Pop built around melancholic synthesiser melodies & plaintive vocals. Stuttering, glitchy drum machine rhythm’s give Alway For You a unique character that subverts the expectations of Indie Pop in a really interesting way.

Kelley Stoltz

Kelley Stoltz gives us some nice ’60’s Psyche Pop with authentic period production, simple vocal melodies & Beach Boys style harmonies. Fuzzy, psychedelic surfer music, Ever Though Of Coming Back is an unexpected highlight for me so far.

Chad VanGaalen’s Flower Gardens opens up with some lovely, bleeping synth arpeggios which subtly detune before the song bursts into a fuzz bass led Psyche Garage stomper. Stuttering vocals & guitar notes, modem noise & dub sirens all build up to create a unique, and raw, take on Garage Rock.

The Bank And Trust by The Elected is hyper-melodic, soulful Alt Country. Sunny Californian melodies & vocal harmonies change up the Country sound into something brighter & shinier.

Jennifer Gentle, Italian Psyche Pop oddballs, are back with the excellent Take My Hands. They’re like a lo-fi T-Rex fronted by Syd Barrett. Minimal & weird, just the way I like it.

Mudhoney

Sub Pop stalwarts & Grunge pioneers Mudhoney are in an apocalyptic mood on Endless Yesterday. Grafting Psychedelic melodies onto their heavy-as-you-fucking-like hard Grunge sound, Endless Yesterday is a ode to a thermonuclear holocaust on their semi-concept album Under A Billion Suns. This album, & song, rages against the George W Bush administrations bloodlust &, to quote a song title from the album, Hard On For War. This comes from the same place, emotionally & politically, as The Thermals track mentioned above.

We’re keeping it heavy with the return of another band I loved from earlier Sub Pop compilations, Comets On Fire. This is melodic, sludgy surf Punk. Dogwood Rust is drips in ’60’s energy &, you may remember from previous blogposts about Comets On Fire, Echoplex tape delay. Thick walls of dense delay noise provide an apocalyptic backdrop to furious lead guitar solos.

Tall Birds actually carry on in a similar style, though with a more Pop-orientated melodic sensibility. There’s an almost Glam Rock swagger to Internalize & a sense of Punk chaos to the rhythm section. There’s a few unexpected twists & turns, like the high speed run up to the final chorus, which feels like a different song entirely. Noisy, full stop ending is pretty too.

Pissed Jeans

Next up we’ve got Sabbath slow Noise Rock from Hardcore Punk band Pissed Jeans, with Don’t Need Smoke To Make Myself Disappear. This is dark, dank & aggressive. The vocals range from menacing sarcasm to terrified howling.

Dead Moon Night by Dead Moon is lo-fi Garage Rock. Like so much of the other music on here, Dead Moon Night marries noisy guitar jamming with psychedelic techniques & frantic pitch bending.

From something so melodic we move into much darker territory. The Driller by Wolf Eyes is pure, abrasive Noise Music. Screeching guitar feedback, synthesised percussion & doom metal screaming combine to give a masterclass in noise music. An essential artist if you like the genre. If you don’t, I imagine it is rather unpleasant. Luckily, I love noise music.

Revolve by Eugene Mirman is a bit of a curveball, to be fair. A 5 minute clip of Stand Up comedy. I don’t rally know what to say about this track. It’s pretty funny, but not really what I look for in an Indie Rock compilation.

So, overall, This Delicious is another great Sub Pop compilation.

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