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8 out of 10
There have been a number of top quality alt. rock and indie compilations released so far this year, like FatCat's recent sampler, 'Alcopopular Volume 2's' excellent indie-pop selections and the last 'Rough Trade Shops Counter Culture' collection. Add to them 'The First Brainwash Compilation', from the Leeds promoters Brainwash who've put together a compilation of some of the bets bands they've put on, and put out with their sister record label Children No More.
Not only is it an exceptionally good line-up of bands, including Jetplane Landing and artists on the rise such as Youthmovies, Vessels, Dinosaur Pile-Up and Jonquil, but it's testament to the Brainwash team that they've been granted exclusives by Red Stars Parade (Brutal post-hardcore; I'm not entirely sure if they've got vocal chords any more), the Netherlands' We vs. Death (Imposing post-rock), and randomNumber (Brain tapping Chris Clark/Kieran Hebden inspired electronica).
It's the 'big' names mentioned above that really make this compilation a must have document. The beatific post-folk of Jonquil is a wonderful start (See also the more sober acoustic sounds of Paul Marshall's 'The Horsewoman Came Home'), and things carry one getting grander with Vessels - continuing their progression from post-rock to stadium rock - and Youthmovies, who sound like genuine challengers to Arcade Fire on 'Shh! You'll Wake It'.
The seriousness is broken up by Jetplane Landing's ramshackle rap-rock tribute to "the only punk band left in America", the delightfully silly (But ultimately true) 'Why Do They Never Play Les Savy Fav On The Radio?', and Pulled Apart By Horses frantic AC/DC-Blood Brothers hybrid. Dinosaur Pile-Up's contribution isn't even close to being their best song but it's still top Johnny Foreigner style indie-punk. With songs like these, hopefully there'll be a second Brainwash Compilation sometime soon.
1. Jonquil - Intro/Lions (edit)
2. Red Stars Parade - Jack O'Knives
3. Jetplane Landing - Why Do They Never Play Les Savy Fav On The Radio?
4. Wintermute - Shark vs. E-Boat
5. These Monsters - Fleets Of Black Hovercraft Anchored In Space (featuring 7 Hertz)
6. Paul Marshall - The Horsewoman Came Home
7. randomNumber - Crosets
8. Vessels - Clear And Calm
9. Youthmovies - Shh! You'll Wake It
10. Pulled Apart By Horses - I Punched A Lion In The Throat
11. Year Of The Man - Deus Vult
12. Dinosaur Pile-Up - I Get My Direction From.
13. We vs. Death - 'Golden Medals'
14. Humanfly - Heavy Black Snow (featuring Rose Kemp)