December 5, 2002
VARIOUS ARTISTS [I]LOCATION IS EVERYTHING, VOL. 1[/I] REVIEW
Ahh, Jade Tree. What a great and diverse label. I don't think they have ever put out a record that was at it's very worst, decent, and that's saying a lot. I never really understood why they have never put out a compilation though. But now they have, so happiness abounds. The disc kicks off in a fine fashion with New End Original's pop-punky yet still original number "Lukewarm," and is followed with the bass heavy "Kicking the Lights" by Girls Against Boys, a band I've never really understood, nor really liked for that matter, but still seem to always intrigue me with their strange sound. Denali's rocking, atmospheric, female-fronted track "Gunner" is next up. I love this band, and Maura Davis' voice rules. Washington D.C.'s Trial By Fire follow with one of the best hardcore songs I have ever heard under a 1:30. Every song on this bands debut album "Ringing In The Dawn" is freaking amazing. I highly suggest you download song or two off the Jade Tree site. Anyways, moving on. Jets To Brazil's
Jeremy Chatelain provides an excellent country-type track from his side project Cub Country. I absolutely love this song. The laid back feel is great, as is the guitar work and Jeremy's smooth vocals. Milemarker follows with their evilish synth-rock sounds with the anthemic "Shrink To Fit". Up next is the song "Ballet Skool" from the bluegrass/country stylings of Miighty Flashlight, which is basically Mike Fellows (former bassist of late 80's emo pioneers Rites Of Spring) and an acoustic guitar. This guy cracks me up, yet I take him seriously at the same time. This is the perfect 3:00am song. Following him (the track order on this comp is quite funny when you think about it) Strike Anywhere provides a quick, hardcore punch to the gut with the politically charged song "S.S.T.," which is highlighted with various tempo changes and the refreshing hardcore vocals of Thomas Barnett. Yet another amazing Jade Tree hardcore/punk band, go figure. Owls follow with the strange, creepy number "I Want the Quiet Moments of a Party Girl," a song that never really seems to reach a climax, but seemingly floats a long, led by the spastic complex drumming of one Mike Kinsella. The Explosion then come crashing in with the short but sweet, fast, punk rock song "God Bless The S.O.S." That Matt Hock guy sure has a unique voice for punk. The electro-pop sounds of Zero Zero are up next, with the head-bobbing, Nintendo-like beat filled song "Back To Hell." I really admire the originality of this band, and I really admire how Ari and Dave can go from a band like Lifetime to a band like this. Right on. Jets To Brazil bring the rock and roll on the next track "Milk and Apples," followed by the laid back, tropically dub-like instrumental groove "My Ladies Can't Remember the Eighties" from the multitalented band Euphone. The Promise Ring rock their way into your head with the extremely catchy "Emergency! Emergency!" from the extremely catchy album "Very Emergency." I've always been a big fan of this bands work, whether it be their lo-fi early work to the pop-oriented recent albums, and this song serves as an example of why their poppy material is worth the listen. Jonah from New End Original rocks it in a cute, amateur like way on the electronic filled pop-rocker "Smile" from his solo project Onelinedrawing. Pedro the Lion is up next with the story-like harder than usual "Rapture," which I argue to be one of David Bazan's best songs he's written. If you haven't picked up Pedro The Lion's newest album "Control" yet, do yourself a favor and buy it. The last seven songs on the compilation include unreleased tracks from bands already on the comp, like Girls Against Boys, Milemarker, Pedro The Lion, Jets To Brazil, Miighty Flashlight, and The Promise Ring. One of Jade Tree's newest bands, melodic hardcore band Paint It Black; (featuring ex-members of Kid Dynamite and Lifetime) make their debut on here as well. If you are unfamiliar with the Jade Tree roster, or even if you think you aren't, this compilation is a must have. It will plunge you into the world of all that is Jade Tree, a world you won't soon want to come out of.
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