steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Various Artists

"The Socomtonar Collection Volume 1" CD

Ascetic Records

Genres: rock, indie rock

Ascetic Records
5248 Bancroft #B
St. Louis MO 63109

Apr 28 - May 5  2003

The Socomtonar Collection Volume 1 is Ascetic Records' new sampler and it features some nice contributions by four bands on its roster - DMS, Riddle Of Steel, Houston, and Ring, Cicada.  As far as samplers go, it's a pretty good one, especially considering the fact that most listeners will likely be unaware of the bands on Ascetic's roster.

Some of the most interesting music on Socomtonar is that made by Ring, Cicada, one of St. Louis' best new rock bands.  Their first track, "I Can Hear You Breathing," is a catchy instrumental that calls to mind Iron Maiden's riffs just as much as it does modern indie rock bands, even though it's nowhere near to heavy metal territory.  Their second contribution to the sampler, meanwhile, is "I Remember," a moody little number that features some nice vocals, proving that the band can work well with both the instrumental and non-instrumental styles.

Meanwhile, Riddle Of Steel (whose EP we reviewed recently) offers up two straightforward (yet enjoyable) rock numbers - the best of the duo is probably "Cat In A Birdcage," which takes a while to build up and then really pays off.  It feels as if it belongs on a spy movie soundtrack or something. Houston contributes a couple of tracks - the emotional, catchy "Trainwreck 2" and a neat, yet bizarrely-recorded little scorcher called "The Corner Song."

DMS (no, not d.b.s.) donates 3 songs to the comp.  The first, "Daze Of Dreams," is an atmospheric instrumental that doesn't quite work that well, but they make up for it with "Roulette Musiceaux," an interesting (albeit misplaced) track composed of drums, guitar, piano, and electronics.  Their final contribution is "Collision Course With Failure, Complete With Instruction Manual Under Front Seat," which is a funky little tune that spends its entire duration building up to a climax that never occurs.

Altogether, this is an interesting compilation that may be worthwhile for rock fans looking to broaden their horizons and learn a bit about the St. Louis music scene.  While DMS' tracks may seem out of place, they also add variety to the album that will be appreciated by listeners with open minds.


Fun Fact: Socomtonar is a surfing term that is short for So Completely Totally Gnarly.

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 9 songs, distributed by the label, released 2002]