Wednesday, September 16, 2009

review: Hear Here: The Triangle Various NC artists

Hear Here: The Triangle
WKNC and Terpsikhore Records and Flying Tiger Sound
Various North Carolina Artists, 2009

Compilations are always a weird beast to review, because well, they are disjointed by their very nature. There is not supposed to be continuity, only fresh revelations. It's hell to listen to, because I have to keep referring to the tracklisting just to see which song is going. But none of that is the fault of Hear Here because it does what a comp is supposed to do--introduce excellent new music. But Hear Here takes it a step further and does not just throw a bunch of songs on a disc, but asked all of the bands included to record an original song. And we're not talking slouches. Here's a new Rosebuds single, a new Love Language and Birds of Avalon single, something from Annuals and Terpsikhore Records spin-off band, Sunfold. And Lonnie Walker, Hammer No More The Fingers, The Never are like old nearby friends--it's always good to see them in the neighborhood.

All of the bands are from the Triangle area of North Carolina, an area that is being flooded with good music. But the good kind of flood. There is a serious revolution going on there; it's no joke. In fact, it's easy for me to name another 6-8 unsigned/independent bands that should've been on this comp, that could have created an equally as satisfying mix of music. Hit up this and this for a few examples. So there's no Bellafea, no Midtown Dickens, no Red Collar, no Aminal, no Megafaun, no Bowerbirds. Only one Trekky Records band. But then, this comp succeeds in introducing me to yet another wave of bands that are now on the totally awesome list, like Motorskills. Their song "Right As Hell," sounds like it was a Thom Yorke B-side, which in this case is a good thing. They do not copy Thom Yorke, they embody him, or at least a really air-tight compact version of something he might do. The Kingsbury Manx also offers a gem with "Custer's Last Stand" as they take a new surf music approach to a U.S. western showdown.

A friend of mine told me it was a big deal that Colossus had a new song on here, as they're an older-type metal band who are getting back together for a few shows. So the song is a good welcome back gesture.

I was pleasantly surprised by the Americans in France track, their snotty, dirty garage sound is finally endearing to me. Also surprised by the track from The Never. Called "Littlest Things" it doesn't veer far from their previous work, but it does incorporate some gentler, quieter parts than I'm used to with their music--usually it's so quick and poppy, whereas this is simple and understanding rather than on a sugar rush. It's good for them and their harmonies on this track soar.

There are several hip-hop/rap songs on here from bands like Kooley High and The Beast that I can't really comment on because I have no knowledge of them or other groups that may be like them. With that said, I guess I will comment--I enjoyed "My People" by The Beast.

This disc is worth picking up and knowing about because knowing is knowledge in case anyone was wondering. Track list is after the jump...

Track List:

1. Lonnie Walker, “Feels Like Right”
2. Kooley High, “Can’t Go Wrong”
3. The Love Language, “Horophones”
4. The Never, “Littlest Things”
5. Colossus, “Sunglasses in Space”
6. Birds of Avalon, “Telepathic Creep”
7. Hammer No More The Fingers, “The Visitor”
8. Motor Skills, “Right as Hell”
9. The Kingsbury Manx, “Custer’s Last Stand”
10. Blount Harvey, “The Three”
11. Static Minds, “Time Bomb”
12. The Beast, “My People”
13. Americans In France, “No Love for a Prophet”
14. Inflowential, “Sheriff”
15. The Old Ceremony, “Gone Go the Memories”
16. Sunfold, “Weeping Wall”
17. The Rosebuds, “Brad Cook is Not Your Man”


  1. Loved the Rasheed Wallace cameo in the video. That was him, right?

  2. nevermind...not him at all...i was half grading papers and half watching the video...after watching again, i mistook the guy at 1:06 for 'Sheed and just got carried away with the idea that he might have an indie soul


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