Various Artists – Post* Records & Friends Presents: Ole!
Several great songs from predominantly folky or punky artists.
Let’s be honest. Compilations are hard to review. They incorporate different artists with different styles, each of which is usually only represented with one song. Basically, all one can do is look at the amount of good songs compared to the bad and examine how well the album flows from one track to another.
In those regards, Post* Records & Friends Presents: Ole! does exceedingly well. While there are a few weak points, especially earlier on in its 23 tracks, the featured songs are mostly great selections, the majority of which either have a folky or punk sound. (It is interesting to note that the information provided on iTunes lists the genre as “Unclassifiable.”)
Opening with Dodger’s brief track, “Ballistic Picnic,” and continuing with “Soar Spot” from Happy Valley, the eclectic mix of music is immediately brought to the forefront. Both songs have a punk edge to them, but while “Ballistic Picnic” is more accessible, “Soar Spot” is harder to listen to due to its slightly off-key vocals and unorganized structure.
In sharp contrast is Kingsbury’s “The Great Compromise,” the first of many folk-influenced songs on the album. The track is a mellow ballad that fans of Death Cab for Cutie or Youth Group would enjoy.
Continuing the folksy sound is Summerbirds in the Cellar’s exceptional electric-flavored “Beware of False Profits,” the compilation’s first standout song.
Among the more bizarre tracks is “Car Picnic” from Yip-Yip, which reminds me of my days playing Zombies Ate My Neighbors on Super Nintendo. It’s not a bad track, just unique.
Some low points on the compilation are “Honky” by Pooball and “I Know Alphabet Good” by The Punching Contest. With its poor sound quality, the instruments are hard to distinguish from one another, though you wouldn’t be missing much; it’s a jumbled mess of a song.
It is quickly made up for with “Bird in Rain” by Tres Bien! And “Up in the Trees” by Mumpsy. Both are reminiscent of The Shins, highlighting catchy choruses and well-written guitar lines.
Also noteworthy in the middle section of the comp is the They Might Be Giants-like song, “The Lives They Behave” by The Ocean Floor, the main problem being that it’s too short.
Indeed, the middle and end sections are worth buying the compilation. It combines folk-rock and punk, including outstanding tracks like Derek Lyn Plastic’s ska-infused “Walk the Dead,” the Pete Yorn-esque “Leave the Night Behind” from Jason Choi, and the endlessly fun closer, “I Like To Fuck When I’m Wasted” by The Swirling Bees.
While some tracks are not for everyone, or just downright bad, there are many to be enjoyed on Post* Records & Friends Presents: Ole!