Various Artists

Disco Sucks

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The title doesn't really make any sense unless the folks at the U.K. indie Che were having some sort of bizarre late-'70s flashback, but this lengthy 18-track compilation is a fine snapshot of the indie rock underground as it stood in 1996: in other words, it's completely fragmented. No one trend stood out in indie music in 1996, and so there's an all over the place feeling to Disco Sucks, which turns out to be a huge part of its charm. There's space rock courtesy of Fuxa, Bardo Pond, and Windy and Carl, post-post-punk noise pop by Bis and 30 Amp Fuse, standard indie guitar rock by the Delgados and Spare Snare (a cover of Split Enz's "I Got You"), even a bracing blast by Japanese noise terrorist Merzbow. As always with compilations of this type, the quality is widely variable, but the interesting tracks outnumber the dull, and only Ligament's utterly blah "Salmon Not Eels" is outright bad.

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