Alternative sounds 2


Alternative sounds 2

Review

Checklist:  please tick all that apply. 

Order and conformity matter [ ]
Music is a serious business [ ]
I don't get irony [ ]
I hate synthesisers [ ]
I can't tolerate sci-fi B movies [ ]

Scoring: if you ticked any box, as Morocco Dave says in track 21, You may not be the coolest person here. In fact you might just prefer Now thats what I call music 99.

Still with me? Excellent.

Alternative Sounds curates "The cream of Coventry and Warwickshire music, past, reset and future". The musical diversity that implies is certainly here. Styles range from the good natured punkish drive of Wild Boys' We're only Monsters to the crisply chilling political observation of Engram's Karl Marx and Octogoth's Mundania via the angry energy of Tracey Skarzynska's She Devil She Machine and the calm soaring lyricism of Polly Bolton's The lake isle of Innisfree

Some tracks are steeped in big soundcapes and refined production values, notably First call at dawn from the Mysterious Monks. Others prefer the direct honesty of simple, rootsy arrangements. Take a listen to the urban doo-wop of Johnny Wild and the City Centre Shakers' What Could I Do Now?, the 60's tinged I want you want love by Stavely Makepeace and the lo-fi skiffle-ish charm of Digital Dinosaurs' The sideways man

However, underlying these very different stylistic choices, there are some pervasive themes. First, there's a real flavour of the 80's with a nod to joyous pop-punk,  luscious layers of synths and even the conceptual ambition of the sunset days of prog rock. Second, the album is thoroughly laced with ironic drama such as the mock hammer horror of Stress's Elizabeth Selwyn, the dystopian boogie of Fly's Program or the anthemic sci-fi mock drama of I's I am I.  Above all, the whole album is lively, exuberant and informed.

You can preview the album and buy tracks at https://alternativesounds.bandcamp.com/album/alternative-sounds-volume-2. Alternatively you could save your pocket money and hold on for Now thats what I call music 100.

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