steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Various Artists

"Tracks and Fields" 2CD

Kill Rock Stars

Genres: indie rock, indie pop, DIY

Kill Rock Stars
120 NE State Ave #418
Olympia WA 98501

Nov 15 - 21 2004

Tracks and Fields is the second in a trilogy of compilations from long-running Olympia label Kill Rock Stars, following in the theme of the Kill Rocks Stars / Stars Kill Rock / Rock Stars Kill comps that came out in the 90s.

As is expected from KRS, we get many delicious nuggets on these two CDs - everything ranging from straightforward pop to experimental freak-outs.  In the latter category there are a wide array of successes, including incredibly infectious tunes by Superchunk, The Decemberists, and Biography of Ferns.  There are also numerous calmer, folky pop tunes that take a more somber tone - Cynthia Dall's contribution is pure brilliance, and songs by Brooke and alaska! also impress.  On the weirder scale of things, xiu xiu offers up a characteristically bizarre live performance of "Clowne Towne," Slumber Party brings on some really catchy electro synth-pop, and Dead Meadow provides beautiful, airy dream pop.  Representing the more energetic, punk-tinged end of things are Gas Huffer (funny), Sahara Hotnights, and Jucifer.  Some of the most unusual works here are the gutty experimental RAWK of sleetmute nightmute and need new body's unique free improv.

This is an extensive compilation that brings together the various styles of Kill Rock Stars' extended family, offering much more than your average homogeneous indie rock affair.  While it's a bit erratic at times, this deviously inventive collection of songs will easily find a spot in your heart, and, of course, your CD player.  I can't wait for the next one.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 41 tracks, distributed by, released 2004]