VARIOUS ARTISTS: Bring Beer: LP

From what I’m able to gather by poking around the web, this serves as one o’ them special Record Store Day releases, as well as a sorta sampler for the 12XU label and a benefit comp for a Texas record store. Can’t argue with that, and good on ‘em, considering the constant hemorrhaging of independent record stores we’ve been experiencing the last few years. Anyway, you get a wide variety of interesting bits of rambunctiousness—quasi-space jam music, hardcore, noise, punk, mellow guitar rock, and numerous places in between—courtesy of Cruddy, The Golden Boys, Chris Brokaw, James Arthur’s Manhunt, The Flesh Lights, Naw Dude, Carolee, Marriage, Philip Sambol, Followed By Static, Nazi Gold, G.Green, Rhett And Dean, and Air Traffic Controllers. Most samplers are plain godawful, but I gotta say, the diversity of sounds, the creativity in evidence, and the fact that the songs don’t feel like throwaways the bands merely “donated,” makes this several cuts above the usual dreck.

 –jimmy (12XU)