Otis' Opuses

Various Artists

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Otis' Opuses Review

by Heather Phares

Offering more proof that Kill Rock Stars is one of indie's most diverse and adventurous labels, Otis' Opuses features tracks from their 2005 and 2006 releases, as well as a few exclusive tracks. Within the comp's first three songs, it spans the fired-up yet brooding indie rock of the Old Haunts' "By the Bay"; the spun-sugar synth pop of Stereo Total's "Do the Bambi"; and the acoustic melancholy of Jeff Hanson's "I Just Don't Believe You." Tracks such as the Gossip's "Jealous Girls," Shoplifting's "L.O.V.E.," Comet Gain's "One More Summer Before I Go," and the Decemberists' "Everybody Knows" show that Kill Rock Stars is still delivering the solid indie rock and indie pop expected of a veteran indie imprint. However, the dancey hip-hop of Gold Chains' "Crowd Control" and the furious hardcore of Wrangler Brutes' "Slam Dunk" show that the label is willing to go in unexpected directions. Most unexpected, perhaps, is the appearance of tracks from two '90s alt-rock phenomenons: Harvey Danger, whose "Cream & Bastards Rise" shows that the band is just as sharp and catchy as it was during "Flagpole Sitta"'s heyday, and Linda Perry's "Freeway" (from her virtually ignored 1996 solo debut, In Flight, which Kill Rock Stars reissued in 2005), which is just as earnest and searching as her work with 4 Non Blondes and as a songwriter-for-hire. Songs from Deerhoof, the Paper Chase, Nedelle & Thom, John Wilkes Booze, and the label's excellent Delta 5 reissue round out this packed sampler, which offers plenty to pick and choose from (the special low price doesn't hurt, either).

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