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ATP CD 1-2-3!

These CDs were a great idea. The ATP organisers acknowledge that you can't possibly see every band, some bands were only playing one weekend and anyway, most people spent the time too lashed to remember anything. So here's a three-CD reminder of every single band to help inform your inevitable 'ooh, they were good at ATP' post-ATP record purchases. The only criticism - the CDs all come in paper wallets without the tracklisting written on them, so you put the CD in the player and immediately can't tell which track is who. Come on, kids, a sleeve's not too much to ask, is it?

Here we have some diskant-related rock legends reviewing a CD each for your reading pleasure. CD 1 is reviewed by Ady Foley, CD 2 is reviewed by Jason Graham and CD 3 is reviewed by Rob Strong. CD 3 is also reviewed by Stuart Fowkes. Just because.

CD 1

Hey, this is clever, they’ve done these cd’s with the bands in an alphabetical order, there’s a lot to get through…

Fred Armisen
Starting out with the funny guy who introduced the bands this little skit sees Fred taking on a Joey Deacon style retarded persona in a short interview with Steve Albini.

Arcwelder – Never The Same
I like this, it starts out with some pulsating rhythmic guitar and vocals reminiscent of the husky drawl of Screaming Trees’ Mark Lanegan before it gathers pace and the guitars crash in full on stylee. I’d like to have seen these.

Blonde Redhead – Bipolar
Blonde Redhead are great, but you probably already know that. High pitched shrieking Japanese girly vocals alternating with the contrasting intonations of Italian Amadeo Pace all set to a driving almost haunting backdrop complete with some lovely sounding dirty bass. I like Blonde Redhead.

Bonnie Prince Billy – Minor Place
A gentle strumming folk/country hybrid, very Celtic sounding. This isn’t Will Oldham singing though surely – apparently it’s Place Called Space doing this . Definitely no minor threat, but a pleasant enough little number.

The Breeders – Little Fury
This is a track from the long anticipated new Breeders album, Title TK. Opening with a great lone drumbeat before the distinctive hangdog vocals of Kim Deal come in, recalling the likes of Throwing Muses (or early Breeders) from all those years ago, it mutates into an almost bluesy swamp rock stomp. Nice.

Brick Layer Cake – Stars
So this is Todd Trainer’s side project. Coming on like a strange Royal Trux/JSBX/Zappa hybrid, the slow drawl spoken word delivery could even be Iggy on a bad day. There’s some nice guitar noise in the background, but it probably outstays it’s welcome at almost 7 minutes long. He mentions fluffers though, so bonus points are awarded for the amusement factor.

Cheap Trick – Anytime
I vaguely remember this lot, or at least the name anyway and lo and behold I even recognise the tune as it builds into what you think could actually be a parody of a band in time gone by, evoking images of spandex clad loons with bubble perms, but it’s actually quite a recent tune. Straddling the borders of Rock and Metal, with a distinctive vocal delivery it’s like classic FM rock that Smashy and Nicey would be proud of. Not ‘arf mate.

Consonant – Buckets of Flowers
Fast paced, with a very American sound whatever that is…(and hardly surprising as they are American), this one wastes no time in getting right in your face with it’s instant vocal delivery this is evidently a tale about buckets of flowers, porno mags and canaries. It’s one of the guys from Mission of Burma and a bunch of well-travelled cohorts, including folks from The New Year and Come. The sound is early 90’s US alternative guitar, but that’s not a bad thing, it was a great time for music.

Danielson Famile – Good News for the Pus Pickers
This one’s a bit mad and very hard to pin down as it’s basically all over the shop. Screeching vocals open this fantastically titled track, with a grinding synth organ sound underpinning the whole thing. The chorus is catchy in one of those quirky sort of poppy (annoying?) ways and brings to mind bits of REM and They Might Be Giants but adds some light relief from the mixture of punk gospel country rock that makes up the rest of the song . These sound interesting and I’d like to have seen them.

Dead Moon – Sabotage
These sound like a bunch of old rockers, in fact they are. Good and dirty rock and roll by old people. Alternate old man/old lady vocals with driving guitars. It’s all about Dead Moon according to Steve Albini…

Fred Armisen
This time an amusing little bit from a live show with Fred taking on the guise of a priest, a stand up comedic priest no less, ruminating on urinating, drugs and counselling couples amongst other things. He’s a funny guy is Fred.

Dianogah – Wrapping the Lamb, Sir
From the outset this is unmistakably Dianogah, with that recognisable dual bass thing going on, but with the added texture of some dreamy keyboards that bring to mind the likes of Tristeza. In fact as the song goes on, slowly meandering it’s way to the end it sounds more and more like Tristeza. Not everyone’s bag, but I like this.

The Ex Orchestra - Uitgeest
Weird shit from arty Dutch rock collective, The Ex going all orchestral on us. It’s got lots of brass and probably woodwind coming across like the soundtrack to some sort of sixties black and white horror film going all spaghetti western towards the end. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly meets Psycho or something… Scary.

The Fall – Way Round
The Fall go electronic. Starting out with a psyched out fucked up intro akin to the Dr Who theme tune, this builds and builds. Mark E. Smith, ever the eternal miserabilst rants on about the fact he can’t find his way round. Nice bass too. Yep, totally wired this one, The Fall are ace. Shame I missed ‘em.

Flour – Blood
At first this sounds a bit like The Fall too or maybe even New Order or Joy Division, until the vocals come in that is and reality hits home that it’s actually that bloke downstairs who wasn’t very good – no, not David Lovering – but the behatted Flour. It’s OK, but that’s about it.

Robbie Fulks – Anything For Love
Slowing thing’s down a tad comes Robbie Fulks and it’s a pleasant enough ramble through alt-country territory. Starting off gently, but building itself into something quite big with a rousing vocal in the chorus before mellowing back down again. Matthew Sweet is the closest comparison I can make as this does almost rock out. Surprisingly he’s not massive because I gather this sort of thing should be really popular on Suburbia FM ™.

Godspeed You Black Emperor! – Storm
So we come to the end and we’ve only reached G. You should already know what this one sounds like, taken from the album Lift Your Skinny Fists… this is the segment that sounds like Amazing Grace. Sweeping! Epic! Emotive! Crashing! Orchestral! Fuck, you know what Godspeed sound like by now so I needn’t go on…

All in all it’s a pretty neat little package, the only problem being that it’s in a blank sleeve making it bloody difficult to know what you’re listening to. But hey, I got around that by photocopying the CD – now is that pirating I wonder…

article by Ady Foley

ATP CD 2 by Jason Graham
ATP CD 3 by Rob Strong (and Stuart Fowkes)

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