steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Various Artists

"The Sound of San Francisco" CD

Alive Records

Genres: garage rock, indie rock, punk

Alive Records
PO Box 7112
Burbank CA 91510

Feb 9 - 15 2004

I think I'm going to move to San Francisco.  If this compilation is anything to go by, the San Francisco rock scene is thriving.  Alive Records has collected seventeen songs by thirteen different San Fran bands.  Acts such as The Coachwhips, The Flakes, The Aktion, and Boyskout all contribute gems, and those in love with the whole garage rock revival sound will likely find much to be happy about here.

Things start off energetically with Nagg's female-voxed number "Beauty of the Bitch" and don't back down from there.  The Coachwhips' brief "The Alarm" follows, but the real gem is Boyskout's "Secrets," which combines rock feistiness with pure, unadulterated melody.

One complaint some audiences may have with this compilation is its homogenous nature - all of these songs are raunchy, energetic rock n' roll numbers, so there isn't much room for anything else.  It's clear that you need to know what you're getting into with The Sound of San Francisco - this isn't necessarily the sound of all of San Francisco, just the sound of the city's garage rock underworld.

There isn't much in life that can beat a good rock song, so when you get the chance to buy seventeen of them on one disc you better not miss out.  If you thought The Hives were real cool, look out.  These guys are going to make you and your Burning Heart Records-loving ass look damn stupid.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 9 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]