Records for the Working Class

Records for the Working Class

Sampler 1998

Deep Elm

In a perfect world, I wouldn’t be able to pan the entire recorded output of a record label, but since this is far from a perfect world, I’m going to do it. I’ve often considered the pop side of the emo movement a guilty pleasure. It’s like junk food. It tastes really sweet, but you can’t live off it. Oh, it’s possible to keep yourself alive for short periods of time, but in the long run you’re left with little more than a stomachache and an acne breakout. I’m looking for a little more substance in my diet right now.

That’s not to say that the bands on this sampler don’t provide perfectly serviceable junk food. This is formulaic pop emo. The thing that seems a little odd is that while you can hear the Sunny Day Real Estate influence aplenty all through this CD, there’s something more sinister lurking just below the surface. It’s radio-friendly alternative rock. Due to the time and space constraints here, I’ll spare you my prepared speech about the sorry state of modern alt.rock. All I’m going to say is that everything Bob Mould and I hate about alternative rock is well represented within this CD. I’ll admit that there’s a bright spot here and there hidden in this sampler, but I’ll also admit that after listening to this at least 5 times I can’t even hum you a few lines to a single song.

Everyone in the world seems to be betting on emo’s mainstream breakout potential these days. You can hear the interested parties jockeying for position. I’m calling in sick to stay in bed to nurse this stomachache. Deep Elm Records, P.O. Box 1965, New York, NY 10156

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