Various Artists – A Cheery Wave From Stranded Youngsters (Vol. 2)

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This compilation, put together by instrumental outfit Flies Are Spies From Hell, sells itself with the line, “Peering again into the fertile murky undergrowth of the UK Instrumental/Post-rock scene”. Listening to the wide variety of styles represented on this mix, it becomes clear that that line contains both a truth and a falsehood. Fertile is definitely true, as there are a strong variety of artists here, all creating interesting and diverse instrumental music in the UK. But the term ‘post-rock’ continues to be meaningless and unrepresentative of anything found here.


Opening with the varied, mood-swinging heaviness of Listing Ships, this compilation showcases everything from the schizophrenic (The Rock Of Travolta‘s metallic madness on “Super 8”) to the gentle (Minion TV with the widescreen, melodic ‘We Are Ghosts’) and back again (You Slut! bring the crazy tangents on ‘On The Spot Tina Turner Fine’.) But to try and lump these songs under one banner seems pointless – the only thing that ties these tunes together is the lack of vocals.


Elsewhere, Leeds based proggers Vessels show why they are forerunners of the instrumental scene with the energetic, shifting layers of ‘Ornafives’ and Maybeshewill add epic layers of synth, piano and weird spoken word samples over the brilliant, twisting riffs of ‘Co-conspirators’. This tune is a real highlight on the disc, melding together the big changes in intensity and style with real cohesion and power.


This compilation is genuinely eye-opening, displaying a healthy crop of talented bands creating some intriguing, creative and inspiring music. Fans of rock of all kinds will find something to like here, be it the full-on heaviness of Bleaklow or the properly epic Kasper Rosa. If you thought instrumental rock worth listening to started and ended with Mogwai (who, admittedly, have this comp named after one of their tunes) then you have a whole disc full of surprises to discover.




God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.