Label: !K7 Release date: 25/10/10 Link: Website Buy: Amazon I’ve never been to America, but I know from looking at google maps it’s a big country. I mean, really fucking big. Bigger than at least 2 Englands put together, if not bigger. And since, off the top of my head, I could quite easily rattle off 50 important new bands coming from just London alone, I am, quite frankly, struggling to see how the entirety of “sounds from a new American Underground” is crammed into just over 1 hour of music. That being said, it’s not a bad compilation. There is a broad spectrum of bands there, mostly significantly different and of a good quality. You have favourites like Balam Acab, AnCo, Phenomenal Handclap Band alongside some of the more, how can I say this, fad bands such as witch/drag/boring house outfit oOoOO and reverb molester Toro Y Moi. Overall though, the bands seem to be of a good standard, all around the forefront of their genres. But that’s the problem – just being near the front doesn’t encompass a genre, and what about the numerous bands that straight up aren’t in a scene or genere or any sort of bracket? All the time listening to this I keep on thinking, what about Sleigh Bells? What about How To Dress Well? What about all those other phenomenal US bands to come out in the last month, let alone the last year? What about better bands in the set genre? Why choose oOoOO over Salem, who are, if nothing else, bearable? Why put Chillwave in there at all? Why put chillwave in that isn’t The Radio Dept or Neon Indian at least? Where are Black Dice? Why are Animal Collective in there as new music? I’m not going to go so much into the music here, because a lot of these bands most of you will already know. A lot of them are the frequently blogged about bands that you’d expect when people talk to you about American underground scenes, and a few cureballs thrown in. It’s like a hyper modern bugged out mix, or the beginning of a Pitchfork playlist of the last 2 years. It’s worth a listen and, dare I say it, a buy because if you know half of these bands then you are in for one hell of a surprise when you get to some of these acts. I have to say, I knew all but a couple here, and those few include Slava and Psychobuildings, both of which are fantastic bands that I feel ashamed of not knowing before. As for the music itself, and the mixing, it’s done quite well. The songs do, by and large, run quite well into each other, and the compilation sounds good as a whole. Most of the songs are good, it’s introduced me to Slava, who are awesome. But why, oh why, did they have to say that this is sounds from a “New American Underground?” It listens more as a mixtape by some guy in Brooklyn than a real in depth look at what makes the vibrant buzzing underground scene in America tick. They could have quite easily filled a three disc collection just with new bands from Brooklyn, which will be completely individual and different and independent of a similar collection from Portland, or even California. It’s a good listen, it’ll show you some new bands, some rising, some bigger bands, and all of them will be of a high quality. But what it won’t give you is what it promised – a good look at the New American Underground, which is a compilation that is imposable if it has to be kept down to a mere 18 songs. Photobucket