Various Artists

Location Is Everything, Vol. 2

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A compilation of this delectable Delaware label contains tunes of solid emo groups such as Paint It Black and These Arms Are Snakes, the latter of whom nail the challenging and inventive "Riding the Grape Dragon," resembling At the Drive-In mixed with My Bloody Valentine. "Kill Me," courtesy of Cex, is a dreary, sparser electro-clash effort that rarely gets its footing. But for the most part, this album is more up-tempo and upbeat, especially on Strike Anywhere's punk-pop "Infrared." The group could draw easy comparisons to The Ataris. Another gorgeous gem is the melodic, vocoder-tinged "Hours Seems Like Days" from Statistics. The deeper one moves into the album, the more it opens up to the listener, particularly on Denali's "Hold Your Breath," containing enough tension throughout to make it glisten. A rapid-fire "Reaction" performed by From Ashes Rise hits the right balance between hardcore and emocore. The dichotomy between this and the catchy power pop hooks on Onelinedrawing's "We Had a Deal" is surprising, but shows how great the ears at this label are. Whether it's the reflective yet grandiose "The Greatest Thing" that brings Radiohead to mind or infectious Clash punk of Kid Dynamite's "Heart a Tact," Jade Tree is able to pull these bands together for a greater musical sum. A sleeper tune is the minimal "Dead Together" by Joan of Arc. And this album wouldn't be complete without something from Jets to Brazil, who offer a shimmering and polished nugget in "You're the One I Want." Six bonus tracks, including live performances and demos, are a bit shoddy in places. Only on the one-take sounding "Cut Wrists" and Pedro the Lion's pretty "I Do" does the extra material seem worthwhile. Overall it is a great collection compiled from roughly three years worth of music.

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