VARIOUS ARTISTS: American Noise Vol. 2: LP

A compilation companion to a documentary about Smart Studios featuring a bevy of bands that recorded there, many of which also happen to be the crème de la crème of late-’80s bands that moved from punk to help form the foundations of grunge and alternative rock—Tad, Cherubs, Laughing Hyenas, Die Kreuzen, Killdozer, Crucifucks, Cosmic Psychos, Young Fresh Fellows, The Fluid, Gumball, Urge Overkill, and The Singing Irishman. The surprisingly solid selection of sounds—noisy sludge, punk, pop, icy rock, proto-grunge, general silliness—highlights just how diverse and creatively rich that period could be, a period that often suffers the same curse of myopic hindsight as punk and hardcore. –Jimmy Alvarado (Dirtnap)