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Stressed Volume 1 (Stressed Records)

Posted: November 9th, 2004, by Stuart Fowkes

I must confess to having been unduly excited by the prospect of this dropping through my letterbox, constituting as it does an overview of bands from in and around Derby. I’m an East Midlands boy myself, but having spent far more time in venues in Nottingham and Leicester and then decamped to Oxford, my experience of Derby’s bands only goes as far as Intentions of an Asteroid, Fixit Kid and a few others at the Victoria.

So it was with some enthusiasm that I started to dig my way through the eighteen tracks on offer here, and it seems like there are enough interesting things going on in the Derby area to hold up to most cities in the UK. Sure, there are a few moments of lumpen metal or generic punk rock that I can happily live without, but there are also plenty of highlights, including:

The Minor Fall – ‘Ivory Sirens’: Echoey guitar work and a pyromaniacal lyrical edge lend this a bit of an epic eighties feel – this’d go very well on a nicely-packaged 4AD 12″.
Lardpony – ‘I’m In Love (With a Noxious Gas)’: A quirky synth-pop departure from the serious guitar noise on offer elsewhere. A song about the insubstantiality of love through the medium of falling in love with various gaseous substances (no, really) with some nice burbling keyboards. Top marks for rhyming ‘pores’ with ‘weeping sores’, too.
Fixit Kid – ‘Horrible B’: Hurrah! Fixit Kid are still ace. Big slabs of guitar that sound not unlike the opening of ‘Il Porno Star’ by Shellac rough you up a bit, before they turn the aggression up to eleven with a convincing display of focused noise.
The Atoms – ‘Don’t Wanna Disco’: Cutesy disco pop a bit like The Bangs if they?d gone to the Blue Note every Friday during their formative years. Tsk, ex-girlfriends, eh?
You Judas – ‘Rats With Wings’: A fantastic, brooding soundtrack to all manner of wholesome activities, like strangling or poisoning. Brings me to mind of Part Chimp covering ‘Sweet Young Thing Ain’t Sweet No More’, and the towering instrumental coda really means business. This is excellent.

And the clincher? The compilation?s only three quid. Including postage. You can own Derby(shire) for THREE QUID. Off you go.

Stressed Records

Stuart Fowkes

Stuart is possibly one of the tallest people you have ever seen. He towers above your puny skyscrapers like Rodan on steroids, his blonde spikes puncturing the atmosphe re like crazed, gelled knives. In real life he is part of the Sunnyvale Noise Sub-element pop outfit, and writes for other websites as well as this one - the cheeky blighter. He favours the noisier end of the musical spectrum, with a fervour which would seem to indicate a dodgy heavy metal past.


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