Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Review: Various Artists: "We Just Call it Roulette" volume 2

The We Just Call It Roulette Vol. 2 compilation by Russian Recording represents some of the acts comprising Bloomington, Indiana’s thriving independent music scene and some from out of town, all of whom have recorded at the Russian Recording cabin in Browne County, Indiana.

Though extremely diverse in style and sound, We Just Call It Roulette Vol. 2 features a healthy blend of music, the variety of which actually ties the album together nicely. Whether it’s the frisky folk-punk of Defiance, Ohio or xylophonic traditional Zimbabwe music of Sheasby Matiure and the Mbira Queens, the sequencing is fitting and moves from genre to genre with grace.

Within the punk framework is the aforementioned Defiance, Ohio, with their contribution “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop,” which is among the band’s most aggressive numbers. Prizzy Prizzy Please barrels through their sparkling addition “Thundergust of Woodpeckers,” while the somewhat creepily named Child Bite hurls forth an almost instrumental horn-punk number on “Good Arm Getter.” The sludgy “Wicked Father” by Medusa rolls along like a thicker version of the Bronx, and Kentucky Nightmare borders indie rock on their catchy tune “Ways of the Gods.”

Sure, there are some less enjoyable tracks on the compilation--like the slow grind of Lafcadio’s “Free Willy Nelson Mandela” and insipid instrumental jam “Noel’s Got a Chord” by Valina--but most of the songs are pretty solid. Trio in Stereo’s fuzzy indie pop “She’s Not a Robot” is rather agreeable, and even the folky “When What Was Wrong Was Wrong” by Beyond Things sounds well-suited for the set.

In addition to the nice collection of songs, We Just Call It Roulette Vol. 2 is housed in one of the most artistic, well-designed packages imaginable, a utilitarian design of thick, colorful cardstock, magnetic enclosures and a solitary plastic bubble to punch through the middle of the disc and keep it in place. While the compilation itself is probably geared towards audiophiles and recording aficionados, the variety of songs means there’s just about something for everyone in this release.

Read more: http://www.punknews.org/review/9150#ixzz0jiJDtfNP

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