Independent Revolution

Various Artists
Independent Revolution (CD1)

With two disks weighing in at a hefty thirty-nine tracks, it seems sensible to tackle Independent Revolution in two parts to allow a brief break for coffee and biscuits, and perhaps even a quick nap. Strap in for a dash through the first set of bands…

All thoughts of dropping off during this disk are eradicated by the crashing sound of fluid rockers Christiansen, who open the compilation by pounding their way through ‘Under Things Killed’. A little bit of muso time signature madness breaks the song in half allowing a huge build up at the end of the song.

A live recording of ‘Walk Together, Rock Together’ is the punk metal offering from 7 Seconds and, despite the dubious mix that brings mostly drums and bass, the track stands up well with it’s Greenday meets AC/DC style.

Five Knuckle offer a bitter song of anguish with ‘Not in My Name’, which has a needle-sharp tightness that makes the jagged guitars and cracking drums stand out in lightening flashes of noise.

Tribute to Nothing slam a series of chops and changes in the form of ‘Name of Distrust’, with everything from full on noise to absolutely nothing and plenty of variations in between.

Garrison’s ‘Let’s Fight’ seems a bit lightweight after such a deluge of heavy tracks and, to some extent, the vocals don’t quite convince me of the angst they attempt to convey. However as a pop-rock anthem there is nothing wrong with the chorus and guitar hooks.

The throat ripping ‘In Between’ by NACA7 builds on the foundation of broken-glass vocals with a simple blend of heavy instrumentation. SO much energy goes in to this track, you almost feel exhausted just listening to it! 

‘Safety in Numbers’ by Dead or American is a quirky track with a clean guitar sound that adds an urgency to the sparse verses and a gritty distortion that pops up to drive the chorus.

Drumming its way in to existence, ‘Weekend’ by Ironcow is a spikey and entirely memorable affair. The verse is deliberately disjointed and incredibly tight and the chorus is a meaty slice of guitar noise and shredded vocals.

A complicated collection of drum ideas opens Jupiter Jones’ ‘Crossing Borders’ before they get real simple for the verse in true Grohl style. The big chorus has a Bruce Springsteen stadium-esque feel that supplies the charming vision of a band with clenched teeth and tight neck-tendons (although this is probably not the case!)

Secondtolast show us what Placebo would have been like if Brian Molko had manifested his anger in a less subtle way when they surprise us with ‘I Used to be With It…’, which starts off like a brooding goth-rocker and very suddenly becomes a full-tilt noise-fest.

‘Chaos Falls in Dreams’ from Somewhere Inbetween mixes a spoken verse and heavy guitar rakes with a throaty scream and intense guitar sound in the chorus in a track that doesn’t end up going anywhere.

Stories and Comets are reminiscent of The Used and ‘Chalk Outlines’ has all the elements you would expect from that comparison; clever guitars, a mix of singing and screaming, and stop-start rhythms.

Snowfall Report’s ‘I Will, You Will’ takes advantage of an unusual time signature to enhance the driving 4/4 of the other parts of the song (and also, possibly, to show off how tight they are!) This is a song of many, many parts and, even in the absence of a strong chorus, it’s impossible not be hooked.

The metal guitar sound of Mr Belding’s ‘Touched by God, Kissed by Judas’, supplies the riffy foundations of a song that perhaps lacks the ability to save itself to memory, which is a shame because there is plenty of good musicianship that will be missed.

‘Your Redemption’ is a relentless track from We Become Less with driving guitars and bass. However, the innovation of the verse isn’t matched by the big chorus it really deserves. 

The final track comes from Templeton Pek, who fall within the grungy-rock zone, the fast-paced post hardcore zone and, with this track, the ‘great end of disk one anthem’ zone. The vocal has a depth and range that many will envy. The mix of sounds and directions on this song is a great summing up of all that’s gone before.

A blistering disk, even before you take into account the fact that there wasn’t enough room to go on about the slickness of Cubic Space Division’s ‘Per Se’, Since By Mann’s frantic rendition of ‘Push the Panic’, A Case of Grenada’s spit covered and angry ‘Signals on Displays’ or the metal anthem that is ‘Out of Reach’ by F-Minus. (Hey! I guess there was room after all!)

Written by Fenton on

Steve Fenton writes in our music, words, and culture categories. He was Editor in Chief for The Mag and covered live music for DV8 Magazine and Spill Magazine. He was often found in venues throughout the UK alongside ace-photographer, Mark Holloway. Steve is also a technical writer and programmer and writes gothic fiction. Steve studied Psychology at OSC, and Anarchy in the UK: A History of Punk from 1976-1978 at the University of Reading.

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