Various Artists

Trustkill Takeover, Vol. 2

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The main goal of any label compilation is obviously to use established, or previously well-known acts, to introduce prospective consumers to new or overlooked bands they might not know yet within said record company's roster. But, when the compilation can bask in the additional attraction of containing all-exclusive material, there's also the chance to reward loyal patrons of the brand even as they reach for their wallets -- and there's nothing better than keeping your family happy, right? Well, the 16 never-before-released recordings collected by Trustkill Takeover, Vol. 2 are almost certain to keep the Trustkill family pretty darn happy by offering a balanced mix of baby bands amid an impressive roll call of the label's well-traveled heavyweights. Among the latter are fresh vegetables from several old faithfuls of the aggro-music orchard, including Bleeding Through, It Dies Today, Walls of Jericho, Terror and Bullet for My Valentine, whose personal contribution, "My Fist, Your Mouth, Her Scars," qualifies as one of this set's absolute highlights. As for the virgins, or quasi-virgins on parade, standout moments from the overwhelmingly emo, screamo, and post-hardcore-based entries include the infectious power pop hooks of "Waste My Time" by the Darkness-challengers Bedlight for Blue Eyes; the bouncy, artsy synth rock of Open Hand's "Old Hat"; and, for sheer audacity, "We Never Knew," a straight-up schmaltzy ballad submitted by Roses Are Red. In short, a little bit of everything that has made Trustkill Records one of the 2000s most reliable and successful independent career builders.

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