June 1, 2004
VARIOUS ARTISTS [I]LOCATION IS EVERYTHING, VOL. 2[/I] REVIEW
In their 14 years and counting, Jade Tree have consistently released albums from noteworthy bands, planting themselves amongst the forefront of independent music. Location Is Everything Vol. 2, a sampler of Jade Tree artists, demonstrates the label’s penchant for choosing strong music from unique bands in a variety of post-hardcore indie styles. Perhaps variety is the one main aspect that separates Jade Tree from fellow cred-stacking indie labels like Saddle Creek or Thrill Jockey; though remaining rooted in the realm of underground college-friendly rock, Jade Tree bands display a wide breadth of diversity, representing everything from late â€˜70s inspired punk, new school and DC hardcore to synth-pop, space rock and self-effacing singer-songwriter pop rock.
Locationâ€¦ floats from one strong track to the next, selecting an energetic number from each of the artists’ repertoire; even the usually droning Ester Drang chimes in with their engaging two-and-a-half-minute pop ditty “The Greatest Thing.” Other noteworthy offerings include Cex’s abrasive industrial-flavored, yet nonetheless pop-y “Kill Me,” Joan of Arc’s subtly complex “Dead Together,” and Onelinedrawing’s feel good / feel bad emo fist-pumper “We Had A Deal.” Interestingly, in the “previously unreleased” portion of the disc Jonah Matranga (Onelinedrawing) pays homage to label mate David Bazan (Pedro the Lion) with a cover of “Rapture” (Pedro’s original version having appeared on 2002’s Location Vol. 1). For Jade Tree fanatics, this album doesn’t offer too much you can’t get elsewhere, but for curious initiates to these bands, Location is Everything Vol. 2 is an essential acquisition. Plus, if you pick this up you’ll be less likely to be on the receiving end of the obligatory and ultimately annoying hipster mantra, “You haven’t heard them yet!?”
Maurice S. Teilmann
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