GC Records 15 Year Anniversary Comp: A Snapshot of the 2014 Las Vegas Music Scene is two things: it’s homage to 15 years of success at GC Records and it’s a time capsule of a local music scene.
Does it succeed on both ends? From a non-Vegas resident, it seems so. There is a variety of music included, largely in part to GC’s sister label Yum Yum that releases a wider span of musical styles which is necessary with the snapshot concept for a compilation. That being said, my personal preferences absolutely preferred the punk-themed GC side more.
There is a wide variety on here, but it segues smoothly and has few absolute lows. All comps are subject to a couple of groaners, and this one is no exception. I could do without the Euro electronic pop sound of Boiis, and the lead voice for Shayna Rain & the Gents reminds me of the band in Return of the Jedi, and not in a good way. That said, this record is mostly solid and thorough. Clocking in with 12 songs in 36 minutes was also smart, as this type of project is often bogged down in 3LP sets and too much material that hinders the listenability. It’s still a record, meant to be spun on the turntable and not locked up in some library, after all.
The acoustic rumblings of Lawnmower Deathriders (contrary to what I expected based on their name) is some good mellow folk-rock and Hungry Cloud contribute some fine mellow moodiness. Flipped over to the lightning side the tone quickly changes with the blunt melodic hardcore of “Born Again Athiest” from The Quitters. The Core follow a similar style, as does The People’s Whiskey—though in a lower-fi tone and with more urgency. The punk side tends to hit on mid-tempo songs with peaks and valleys, high on the lyrical side of songwriting and then it closes out on the acoustic Mercy Music.
The packaging is a big plus with the record, including a 38-page color zine included and well-designed wraparound artwork on the vinyl sleeve that really jumps out. This compilation is pretty consistent from start to finish, though few songs really stand out as exceptional either, remaining more even keel than sending me in search of some rarities from the bands included. Instead, it’s one for collectors of the scene or the label.
6.8 / 10
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