Various Artists

Pulse from Mid-America

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In a sense picking up where Twin/Tone's classic Big Hits of Mid-America series left off, Pulse From Mid-America is a lovingly compiled collection of 17 bands from Indiana; most of them are from Indianapolis and the college town of Bloomington. Surprisingly consistent and cohesive given how different many of these bands are (and how it mixes more established artists with relative up-and-comers), Pulse begins with Mike Dixon's soaring "Half and Even Day," recalling Pavement's brightest efforts, and ends with the sprawling crash of "Grow up and Die" from the longstanding-beyond-hardcore band Racebannon. In between, there is something for just about everyone: punk-pop (the Coke Dares), hyperactive psych-folk (Mt. Gigantic), country-rock (Pious Companion), orchestral slowcore (Early Day Miners), and unclassifiable avant-rock (Rapider Than Horsepower). June Panic (transplanted from North Dakota to Indiana at the time this compilation was released) offers what is ostensibly an outtake from his Baby's Breadth album, "Breech Birth Control," while Turnpale's "With Every Season" provides a spiraling goth spasm to the mix and the Impossible Shapes toss off yet another instant psychedelic pop classic with "Places Called Paradise." If this collection can be faulted at all, it is for not including any hip-hop and just one electronic selection (from DJ Spikes). Still, Pulse does give an honest snapshot of one particular vein of Indiana's independent music scene at one moment in time, and yields plenty of tantalizing glimpses into some bands who beg to be explored further.

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