Various Artists

Dangerous Inventions

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The best rock compilations have always presented a good variety of intriguing music but are cohesive enough to present a vivid snapshot of the scene or genre that inspired them. Dangerous Inventions is just such a collection. Although very few of the bands included here have released more than one album or a couple of singles and none of them are even close to being household names, even in the most indie of circles, virtually every one has something interesting and sincere to contribute. More importantly, the collection is an extremely accurate representation of exactly the kind of music that one might have heard on any night in the early/mid-'90s in any New York City East Village indie rock club. This comp represents a moment in time when the "alternative" major-label feeding frenzy was reaching critical mass and beats, samplers and white boy rap had yet to become necessary components of the downtown guitar band. Standout tracks include "High Heeled Grooves" by Very Pleasant Neighbor, who turn in a nice combination of heavy, odd time signature grooves, '60s psychedelia, and Robert Fripp-like guitar solos, Xanax 25's "All This," which features Jaik Miller's throaty, Steve Marriott-esque vocals, and Vitapup's "Acropolis," the lyrics of which could be interpreted as the spiritual centerpiece of the record. Perhaps the only misstep is the last track, by metal/grunge practitioners Phünhögg, which, while perhaps necessary to represent the full range of the scene, isn't of quite the same consistent level of quality as the rest of the album.

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