Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Various-Kanine Records – The Underdog

January 1, 2006

Band Name: Various

Album Name: Kanine Records – The Underdog

Best Element: Good showcase of the strong talent.

Genre: Various

Website: www.kaninerecords.com

Label Name: Kanine Records

Band E-mail: info@kaninerecords.com

A good compliation CD gives a listener a preview of the artists on a record label. A great compilation CD makes the listener want to buy music from the bands showcased on the compilation. Kanine Records compilation, The Underdog, does both. The best way to examine the music showcased on this compilation is to break it down band-by-band:

Mommy and Daddy: highly upbeat, electronica/industrial music which makes you want to dance around your living room rockstar style. If their two songs, “Franconia Road” and “Confection” are any indication of how good Mommy and Daddy are, I would definitely want to hear more from them.

Oxford Collapse: musically, very talented. The vocals are a little bit strange, but not necessarily in a bad way. It kind of reminds me of yodeling at times. Their style of music reminds me of Dismemberment Plan. The second track “Melting the Ice Queen” is much better than the first track, “The Boys Go Home.” Oxford Collapse is good, but I’m not sure I would necessarily run right out to hear more.

Mixel Pixel- This is another electronic band – not in the techno way, just a lot of distorted, odd noises throughout. There was only one track by this band on the compilation, and it was good, but seemed to drag on a bit. Not that the song was long, it just didn’t feel like it was going anywhere. Another good band, but not sure if I would run right out to try to hear more.

Grizzly Bear- This band makes me think of The Shins – but a lot more slow and without any catchy hooks or sing-a-long quality. There was only one song, and it was really slow, with purposely distorted vocals, and nothing ever happened in the song. It dragged on and on. I didn’t like this track at all.

Four Volts- This band also had only one track on the CD, but it was really entertaining. It was rather Weezer-esque, upbeat, poppy and very energetic. I definitely enjoyed it and would love to hear more by them.

Rockethouse- It’s hard to describe Rockethouse. They’re kind of like a less industrial Nine Inch Nails without Trent Reznor. Their song is not bad – in fact, it’s quite good, but it’s also not spectacular. If it were on the radio, I wouldn’t change the dial, but I also wouldn’t be anxiously awaiting the next single.

The Izzys- Their song is very cute- very backwoods country sing-a-long style. It almost seems like a novelty song. I’d be curious to hear more just to see if this is what their style really is, or if this was just a catchy experiment or novelty.

The Flesh- Their style makes me think Dropkick Murphys meets Depeche Mode. It’s a cool combination, but this song is repetitive in and of itself. I didn’t really like this one so much, but I would still like to hear more to see if their other tracks are catchier because they definitely have potential.

It is also worthy to mention that the production quality of these songs was incredible. Everything was so crystal clear. That speaks volumes for Kanine Records in and of itself.

-Andrea Caruso

starryblueskye24@aol.com

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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