Reviews Various Artists Keep Singing!

Various Artists

Keep Singing!

Keep Singing! is another benefit compilation brought to you from the great folks at Exotic Fever Records; in this case the proceeds are going to the amazing organization Compassion Over Killing. Every band that contributed songs did so to raise awareness for veganism, vegetarianism, and animal rights and Compassion Over Killing. And each band does give their own recipe to try, including Sinaloa’s vegan macaroni and cheese, which is delicious. Every band that contributes to the compilation are different in style, and many are smaller and underappreciated performers and bands, not only raising awareness about animal rights but also about numerous amazing bands.

1. Gina Young, “Too Cool to Cry” - The keyboards give this song an air of sunshine and happiness, mixed with Young’s upbeat vocals it seems like all is well. Listening to the lyrics though it’s a stark contrast, as if Young needed something upbeat to keep a positive outlook on the bleak.

2. Strike Anywhere, “You Are Not Collateral Damage” - Of all the bands on Keep Singing Strike Anywhere is the one that needs the least amount of introduction. These Richmond punks have been doing it well for years, and are all great people to boot. Their song is what we’ve come to expect from the band, vocals changing from melodic singing to all out yells, with Thomas singing, “All our customs leave our consciousness behind,” with the rest of the band producing their distinct hardcore punk sound.

3. Life at These Speeds, “Waefae” - This is one of the last songs Life at These Speeds ever recorded, and they picked things right up from To Your Health. Post-hardcore vocals with fast drumming and bright and melodic guitars and vocals.

4. Attrition, “No Control” - Attrition was an amazing and unfortunately often overlooked band from Washington D.C. that just recently broke up. They play smart and catchy emotional hardcore in the vein of bands like Joshua Fit for Battle, and this song is no different.

5. In First Person, “Shades of Gray” - In First Person has some of the most crushing bass and guitars in hardcore, as well as main vocals of Tom Schlatter and Benn Roe, making the band and this song leave a path of destruction in it’s wake. Smart, thoughtful, political hardcore at its best.

6. Sean McArdle, “I Go Shopping” - One of the best songs on the compilation, McArdle sings about being inundated with materialism, going shopping everywhere he goes as he is bombarded with capitalism, using whit and rhyme to tell his story.

7. Now Sleepyhead, “Pandemic” - The beginning of “Pandemic” sounds like it came straight out of Donnie Darko with a foreboding piano and hushed vocals, leading into moments of ambiance and desperate vocals.

8. Sinaloa, “To Our End” - It’s been a while since Sinaloa has released any new material, but if this song is any indication of their new full-length due out this year we’re in for something special. Shouted and spoken lyrics, poetic and beautiful.

9. Wrong Day to Quit, “Wounds - This is Wrong Day to Quit’s last recorded song and is very reminiscent of some old Assistant songs. Leah Schlatter from the Assistant does all of the vocals while an acoustic guitar strums in the background, her lyrics centering on the Ghandi quote, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”

10. Kath Cashel, “Human Animal” - Kath Cashel plays acoustic folk music, generally by herself but in this case with backing vocals, a violin and piano. Her voice drips life experience, like she’s seen a lot of what the world has to offer, good and bad.

11. The Vonneguts, “Tonight’s a Sadist” - “Tonight’s a Sadist” features The Vonneguts playing sassy and angular indie rock, somewhat similar to Meneguar mixed with brief moments of chaos. Surprisingly enough the band is a three piece, although it can be hard to tell listening to them.

12. Ampere, “Conquest Success” - From their recordings to their live show, Ampere can really only be described as “loud as shit and fast as fuck.” While clocking in at only thirty-three seconds, this is the most complete rager this side of an Emo Armageddon compilation.

13. Des ark, “Punks in the Park” - Des ark writes some of the most stripped down, personal music I’ve heard and is so emotional during shows she brings herself her tears. She either plays solo or with backed by a guitar and drummer, in this case she is by herself playing the piano, all pretenses gone, playing for herself.

14. Off Minor, “Abattoir” - Off Minor have finally shed the comparisons to Saetia, playing emotional post-hardcore. “Abattorir” clocks in at a little under a minute and a half, and features a changing drumming structure and yelled vocals.

15. Junius, “Lost in Basilica” - Junius emerged onto the scene during their tour with Circle Takes the Square, and play dynamic, atmospheric indie rock. This song is largely instrumental, post-rock with triumphant vocals when they do appear.

There it is, a track-by-track breakdown of Keep Singing!. All of the songs are available on iTunes for those that don’t want to buy the whole album, but it’s certainly a compilation to be looked at as a whole. Exotic Fever will not receive any profits from album sales either, so view it as a chance to discover great bands as well as help an amazing cause.

7.3 / 10Cory
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7.3 / 10

7.3 / 10

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