A Hackpen Label Sampler – Music not the machine

Label compilations are, by their very nature, hit and miss. This one, though, breaks the trend by being almost entirely good, if not interesting – clearly those at Hackpen Records have an ear for a band that’re a little different.

Opening with the hypnotic and atmospheric ‘Keep A Clean Nose’ by 96 Tears, this CD explores the spectrum of indie music via spoken word ‘Mouse Eat Mouse World’ and the A+E Line’s strikingly strange song, ‘Christopher Walken’. Unsettling enough due to the eerily just-out-of-tune vocals, the song breaks the 4th wall all over the place, being written from the perspective of Mike Myers’ character in Wayne’s World, yet referring to Sir Walken’s entire career. Brain-melting stuff.

Stick Finlay’s bring a slightly heavier feel with ‘Cultural Vandal’ – one of the album’s highlights – and though it’s definitely not the best song here, the raw edginess of ‘Three Days In A Pit’ by Toupe makes the song a standout track. The sampler itself is a pleasant enough listen, then, but most of all it’s such a relief to see that all new music out there isn’t bland Radio 1 fodder.

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