Various Artists

Birth of Alternative Rock, Vol. 2

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Birth of Alternative Rock, Vol. 2 follows the first volume's lead, licensing exclusively from Sub Pop for a snapshot of the label in the formative years of grunge and alternative. Mudhoney's 1988 basher "Touch Me I'm Sick" is a classic, a stomping update of Sonics fury. And Love Battery's debut single, "Between the Eyes," is interesting as a sort of "deep cut." Seaweed's 1993 cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way" is worth a few listens as a laugh, but it doesn't really keep, and this budget release could've offered more variety than working the Mudhoney/Screaming Trees/Mark Lanegan axis as much as it does. (Where's Pond, or Eric's Trip?) But it's a decent, if shallow look into the sound of era.

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