Various Artists

Monsters, Robots and Bug Men

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Post-rock was still somewhat young when Monsters, Robots and Bug Men came along, and this compilation, subtitled "A User's Guide to the Rock Hinterland," is a real peach, showcasing bands from all over the musical map that somehow magically fall under the "post-rock" umbrella, from the shoegazing of Bowery Electric, Bardo Pond, and Jessamine to the mutant-dub of God and Godflesh, to the ambient drift of Flying Saucer Attack and Labradford. And while continuously mixed, the track order is mildly schizophrenic. But that's the point. In a post-rock world, the sunny psychedelic pop of Mercury Rev's "Everlasting Arm" can meld seamlessly into Flying Saucer Attack's dark-ambient "Feedback Song." Stereolab's motorik mantra "Les Yper-Yper Sound" can slide into Cul de Sac's Can homage, "Doldrums" and no one bats an eye. Nor should they. Attempting to condense a genre that encompasses everything into 155 minutes is a thankless task, but this album acquits itself admirably. While the compilation suffers from the fact that all of its tracks are readily available elsewhere, this is a great introduction to the genre.

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