steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Various Artists

"VC Comp 1.0" CD

Vacant Cage Records

Genres: indie rock, punk, hardcore

Vacant Cage
1784 W. Northfield Blvd #215
Murfreesboro TN

Aug 7 - 13 2004

Vacant Cage is a new, Murfreesboro-based label dedicated to getting Tennessee music into the public spotlight.  They've already got a number of releases released and in the pipeline, but VC Comp 1.0 is their introductory sampler - featuring twenty songs from twenty different bands.  The label's main bands, Fall With Me, Fluid Ounces, and The January Taxi, are all represented, as are numerous other local acts.

While this disc is a very eclectic affair, all of these songs can be considered "rock" to some extent, whether it's hardcore (Serotonin's "Signal Flow," Falling Down's "Cesaren"), weird drama pop (Call Florence Pow's "Creepy Girls," Fluid Ounces' "Paperweight Machine"), or straightforward indie rock (By The Graveyard's "Across the Fields," The January Taxi's "Starlight the Sun").  Although the majority of VC Comp's twenty songs are quite catchy, a few stand out from the rest.  The Preservatives' "Disciples of Mr. K" sounds like it was recorded back in the sixties, which is actually quite entertaining.  Character's "Progressive Democratic" is an amazing slice of ultra-infectious, Koester-esque indie pop.  The Roosevelts' "Turn Off The Radio," meanwhile, is one of the most incredible instrumental pop numbers I've heard in a long time, successful in both atmosphere and melody.  Some of the weaker tracks (Ghostflower's repetitive "Never There," Casio Cassanova's flat "Heart In Two") mess with the disc's flow and consistency, but no compilation can be perfect.

On VC Comp 1.0, you're guaranteed to find something you like - and, chances are, you may discover a number of new bands to check out.  The Tennessee indie scene is indeed promising and unique; why not give it a chance?


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 20 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]