Pet Sounds, Vol. 1 is a benefit album for the animal rights/protection group Animal Liberation Through Education and Reform (ALTER) featuring rare and unreleased tracks from Vital Cog artists like the Diane Linkletter Experience and Duochrome, as well as other indie-rock bands, including Heatmiser, Cinerama, and Magnapop. Lisa Germano's quietly luminous, stream-of-consciousness ramble "Starfish," which sounds like a slowed-down, undersea calypso, and Sorry About Dresden's bittersweet, jittery "My Universe" are among the album's highlights, along with the sprawling, psychedelic "You Can Never Really Have Too Much Wine" from the Photon Band and My Dad Is Dead's oddly bouncy, keyboard-driven "Just Pretending." However, Silkworm's shambling, countrified "Dead Animals" may be Pet Sounds Volume One's finest track, as well as its most appropriate, telling the humorous but pointed tale of becoming a vegetarian after hearing how animals are treated before they become meat. Duochrome's "Negotiating the Driveway" and the sweeping British pop of Cinerama's "Dance, Girl, Dance" are also among the collection's finest moments. Though Pet Sounds Volume One is a little long, it unites many diverse musicians for a very worthy cause, and a "family album" of the musicians' pets on the back cover emphasizes the collection's personal nature.
AllMusic Review by Heather Phares