Sound — 10
This CD is without doubt one of the best compilations I own. All the featured bands, at the time of publishing, were yet to sign to a major label (although many of them now are), which means that the sound is completely unrefined, and there has been no big record company whispering in their ear the whole time. Besides this advantage, the bands are also very fine indeed. And what's more is THEY ARE ALL BRITISH. On this CD, you will find all the up-and-coming acts from the emo, indie, ska, punk, hardcore and metal scenes in the UK - and I do mean ALL. For obvious reasons, I can't print the entire tracklist (there's over 40 tracks), but imagine the following bands all on one double album: Funeral For A Friend, Hondo Maclean, Million Dead, Mahumodo, Kinesis, Breed 77, Capdown, Hiding With Girls, Fony, Reuben, Beecher, Fireapple Red, One Pity, Johnny Truant, Winnebago Deal, SiKth and many, many more. A great advertisement for the quality in underground british rock music, and the vast selection of styles and talent currently on offer.
Lyrics — 8
Obviously it's hard to judge the lyrics and vocal skills of every single band here - it would take forever. There, are however, some great pieces of work here, and plenty of diversity. Singing makes way for screaming and growling on more than one occasion, and the CD flows like more of a musical journey than a compilation. On the one hand, you've got the pop-rock catchiness of Kinesis, and on the other, you have something like Mahumodo, which rebuilds just as quickly as it devastates.
Overall Impression — 10
This is a brilliant album. Most of the songs on here are very, very good indeed, and the fact that a lot of these bands have now gone onto greater things is no coincidence. I bought it just under a year ago in a music shop in Carlisle, for something like 8, so the price is well worth it. I love the diversity and the sheer number of great bands you get here, and it's definitely worth buying, particularly for anyone interested in the underground UK rock scene (then again, if you are, chances are you'll already have listened to this 100 times over). The best tracks are "The Art of American Football" (listed on the back cover as "10:45 Amsterdam Conversations - not true!) by Funeral For A Friend, "April's" by Mahumodo, "MV4" by Capdown and "BAnner Held High" by Reuben, but it's so hard to pick the best, you could end up listing the entire CD. The suffix "Vol. 1" looks promising - if there is intended to be a Vol. 2, I eagerly await it's production. Top stuff.