V/A - Holiday Matinee CD Compilation Vol. 2
Better Looking Records

Compilations are one those extremely hit-or-miss entities.  Sometimes 
you'll get one that has 30 tracks, only 2 or 3 of which are worthy of 
repeat listenings.  Other times, the whole album is so good you almost feel 
bad playing only a song or two, almost like you're neglecting the rest of 
the bands.  This is definitely a case such as the latter.  Holiday Matinee has 
done a fantastic job of assembling some of today's best groups, and even 
squeezing some unreleased material out of their collective pockets.  Wheat, 
No Knife, The Album Leaf, The Good Life, and Vue, to name a few bands, all 
contribute brand new songs, and The Faint throw in yet another wicked remix 
of "The Passives".  Now, add on to that list Cursive, Bright Eyes, 
Tristeza, The Mercury Program [who, after hearing, I am now in love with -- 
they sound like a more hyperactive Karate], and Sunday's Best all throwing 
in recent material, you have one hell of a CD.  No Knife's "Flechette" 
proves once again how incredibly awesome this band is, and gets me even 
more excited for their new album.  The Good Life, fresh on the heels of 
their outstanding new album, contributes "Tell Shipwreck I'm Sorry," which 
I am now praying they will play when I see them this Saturday; they are a 
standout in a crowd of above-par bands.  Wheat's "Flat Black" is a nice, 
mellow, song, which is a perfect leadoff track.  The best thing about this 
compilation [and trust me, it is hard to pick just one thing] is the 
incredibly smooth transition from band to band.  Wheat's lo-fi pop quietly 
slips into No Knife's blast of intensity.  The Album Leaf's extremely 
laid-back groove leads into the straight up rock of Cursive's "The Radiator 
Hums."  Each tracks compliments the tracks surrounding it, which in turn 
makes the CD as a whole flow, which is a rarity in compilations these 
days.  Kudos to Holiday Matinee and Better Looking Records for actually 
thinking about the order of bands.  The only tracks I personally don't 
enjoy are the Bright Eyes and Vue songs.  I don't care too much for either 
band, but that doesn't mean their material is of any less quality.  This CD 
is worth every penny it costs; don't miss out.
...scott heisel...

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