While Chicago labels like Polyvinyl and Thrill Jockey remain the giants of post-rock/experimental music, Sign Language (based in Puyallup, WA) boasted an impressive roster as well. This 2000 compilation featured tunes from Pele's studied prog rock noodling to MxPx's punkish aggression. In between are bands that show the many faces of modern experimental rock music: new wave synth and bass (Scientific), dreamy acoustic soundscapes (Sharks Keep Moving), trippy ambient (Maremont), and bittersweet funk (Unwed Sailor). Throughout all is the pervasive melancholy that makes so much of the music of this style accessible for those listeners not particularly enchanted by the inorganic sounds of most new electronic and dance music. Also of note are the interconnections among bands of this ilk; at least four here share members.
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AllMusic Review by John Duffy