steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Various Artists

"First String Teenage High" CD

bumbleBEAR / AAJ

Genres: indie pop, lo-fi, indie rock

PO Box 7321
Athens, GA 30604

May 3 - 9 2004

First String Teenage High is the highly anticipated Tullycraft tribute album, crammed full with twenty two covers from the likes of Murder Beach, Boyracer, Seasick Crocodile, and more.  bumbleBEAR has really done an excellent job with this disc; it looks and sounds great, and is brimming in variety - this is the soundtrack to fun times and pleasant surprises.  This disc truly embodies the DIY spirit, as every artist here defies popular music ideals in favour of their own, personal approaches.

Of course, as is the expected case with a project as ambitious as this, not everything here is perfect.  There are some less enjoyable tunes here, but for the most part the quality is quite high.  Murder Beach's rendition of "8 Great Ways" is a definite standout - its cute lyrics and hum-worthy melodies make for terrific repeated listening.  My Place In Space's "Superboy and Supergirl" is also amazing; it's a skillful and enjoyable lo-fi treasure from the scene veteran.  Also excellent is Eric Metronome's crisp version of "Spoiler / Need To," Beltline's pretty "The Lives of Cleopatra," and Genoe's sweet "Miss Douglas County."

First String Teenage High is a fine tribute album to a band that doesn't get half the credit they deserve.  Even if you've never heard Tullycraft, this disc should appeal to you; these songs' allure is very much universal.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 22 tracks + 2 hidden, distributed by the label, released 2003]