Various Artists

Playing 4 Square, Vol. 2

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AllMusic Review by

This is the second volume in a series in which four indie labels get together and showcase their best and brightest talent. All the tracks can be found on the bands' releases except for two demo versions: Allister's "Somewhere Down in Fullerton" and the Stereo's "You Better Believe It." A run down the labels for the viewers at home: Commercial indie Drive Thru (they have a distribution deal with mighty MCA) showcases six bands, including Finch, RX Bandits, and Home Grown. Emo stalwart Fueled by Ramen also has six bands, including the Impossibles and the extremely energetic The Stereo. Suburban Home only has five bands here, the most promising being Saturday Supercade. Polyvinyl has the most diverse lineup, as each of their six bands sounds completely different from the others. From the drum and organ cuteness of Mates of State to the sonic adventurism of Aloha to the emo-tastic sounds of Sunday's Best, Polyvinyl shows they are not afraid to take some chances. If this were a contest, they would be the winner. It isn't -- but it is a fine compilation of young bands who lean toward rocking. Hats off to the labels involved for showing some good, old indie solidarity.

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