Nakhes-Core Sampler
/absolutely kosher; 2002/

rating : 
I don’t like marks but since Barbara “the boss” H compels me to: 8




more info :

    It seems appropriate to specify that Absolutely Kosher is an indie label from Berkeley, California. This sampler is actually free and you can get it e-mailing them and asking them politely for it. 

To be honest, the sampler contains 20 tracks and 17 bands (Eltro, Franklin Bruno and The Jim Yoshii Pile-up having 2 songs on it) but I had only heard of 3 bands before listening to it. Pinback, The Mountain Goats and Xiu Xiu. Thanks to this cd, I’ve just discovered a few bands worthy of praise. 

My favourite songs are by The JIM YOSHII PILE-UP, a great emo group which reminds me of Codeine, and also of early Karate, Van Pelt and Smart Went Crazy. “Double Negative” is taken from their forthcoming album entitled “Homemade Drugs” (which should be released by October 2002 – I’ve already seen the sleeve on the website, it’s a magnificent photo) and it’s a great calm verse / agitated chorus song. The chorus intensifies gradually and generates a bittersweet feeling. The singer really sounds ‘american’ but is that a problem ? We like that, don’t we ? The other song “Breakdown Championship”, which is brilliant, comes from their previous album “It’s winter here”. The intro consists of intermingling guitar melodies. The voice delicately comes in-between the guitars and then comes to the forth. The song becomes more and more intense and the mid-tempo is perfect for the melodies to develop their melancholy. Then, everything becomes tense but the song never yield to cathartic noise and the melancholy remains there, enchanting your ears and the melodies that begun the song finish it. The lyrics are great too: I love this line which is, in my opinion, a universal truth for absurdist beings: “Honey, you asked me what’s my greatest fear. Well, it’s living here earning 6,50 $ an hour.” Fantastic! 

THINGY’s song is really praiseworthy as well. It’s full of energy and emotion, somewhere in-between slow/emocore and power indie. “I don’t need no razors. Summer’s cut me again”. There’s a new album coming soon that will be worth listening considering the quality of this song. It is worth noticing that a member of Thingy used to play in Pinback, the most famous band from this sampler. PINBACK’s song is taken from the august 2002 reissue of their old album “Some Voices” and it is a typical Pinback song. If you like their last album (“This is a Pinback cd”), you should listen to this one.

TWO GUYS is also between slowcore and indie rock. I might be wrong though because there is only one song on this sampler (amusingly called ‘Ode to Masturbation”) and it can make you feel like listening to their forthcoming album.

 XIU XIU’s track is called “Jennifer Lopez” (Is that a mockery ?) and it’s taken from the “Chapels of the Chimes” that Barbara H is supposed to review so you’d better read it to know more about this US band probably named after this Chinese film dealing with this girl compelled to go to the country…

ELTRO opens this sampler with a beautiful number called “Orangina” which reminds me of Hoboken’s genius Yo LaTengo (“I can hear the heart beating as one”) because of its atmosphere and Bardo Pond because of its sound. However, the other song’s quiet electronica is reminiscent of Stereolab.

“Dumd as doll” by VIRGINIA DARE is a good song but it reminds me of a lot of things though (such as Hole’s quiet songs for instance, probably because of the voice).

FRANKLIN BRUNO’s gentle, seemingly naïve pop music and crooner voice singing funny lyrics makes me think of Urge Overkill’s famous song on Pulp Fiction’s soundtrack. THE COURT AND SPARK left me a similar impression, except that the voice is closer to early Michael Stipe (REM), which is definitely a compliment. The MOUNTAIN GOATS’s lo-fi song is very close to Daniel Johnston.

Finally, I would like to say something about the group OPTIGANALLY YOURS (a duo with Rob Crow from Pinback) because their song is very strange, experimental I would say. The good stereo mix of onomatopoeias increase the minimalist aspect created by the dark rhythmic sounds. This song is rather original.

I reckon that it is difficult to review a sampler, especially when the groups do not sound alike, because it quickly becomes boring to talk about all the bands one by one. I’ve tried to talk about my favourite songs on this cd and since it’s free, I suggest that you try to get it because some of these bands are really good.


/oct 1st 2002/