The premise here is a noble one: Kool
Tone Records' Rob has made it his mission to bring undiscovered
bands -– scouted out via
MySpace accounts –- to new ears. With only
200 copies of each volume of this series being produced, the object
is obviously to connect these bands and artists with a small
community of dedicated musical treasure-hunters.
A compilation should start with one of
its best tracks, and Curtis' "How Long Have I Been Dreaming?"
doesn't quite cut it –- it's a decent, electric guitar fuelled lo-fi
instrumental, but hardly anything to write home about. In fact, it
takes a bit of digging to reveal this disc's potential, but several
significant tidbits are encountered deeper within the comp. Make it
through The Fake Boys' generic if melodic pop punk
-- adorned with
earnest harmonies, at least –- and Red Run's crummy noise-rock
attempt, and one encounters the sparkling, vindicated guitar-pop of
Veil Cassini's "Silhouette." It's a glistening, energy-charged
recording with no shortage of hooks. Further within, one arrives at
several eclectic and disparate treats, though not without treading
through some lesser material. Among the best
tidbits are Mugstar's
energizing and chaotic post-punk hardcore romp, Playhouse's polished
indie rock anthem, replete with reboant vocals and iconic power chords,
and Chalou Saint Jude's late-era Superchunk throwback
"King of the
Roaring Twenties." On the less inspired end are Pop Fosters'
hackneyed punk-by-the-numbers, Kontake's bland goth instrumental,
and The Polaroid's hook-bereft garage track.
The joy of treading through ambitious
compilations like this lies in the possibility of finding little
lumps of gold among the masses. One doesn't expect a cohesive set of
songs, but rather a sampler –- a collection of songs to pore through,
pick, and choose from. With that said, Extracts from the Ether has
an impressive hit rate, and a remarkable dearth of duds. Why spend
hours scouring MySpace pages when you can
pick up this slick assemblage
of the highlights? And in such a nice little package, too.