Various Artists

Red Hot + Bothered: The Indie Rock Guide to Dating

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The Red Hot Organization goes indie in a most compelling fashion. Billed as The Indie Rock Guide to Dating, this compilation is every bit as geeky cool as it purports to be. Though not every artist here is the cream of the crop, enough Grade A contributions make the endeavor more than a bit successful. Highlights include "Sensational Gravity Boy" from the Robert Pollard-fronted Freedom Cruise; Built to Spill Caustic Resin's sterling "Still Flat" (even though it appears in a bolder, fleshier form on their eponymous EP); Lisa Germano's fragile, fractured acoustic ditty; the shambolic grandeur of "Some Fantasy" from the criminally ignored Verlaines; a subtle song from the Sea and Cake; East River Pipe's poetic, sad "Miracleland"; a bubbly, droll version of "Hopeless" from Future Bible Heroes; and the indie Television-lite stylings of Flying Nuns. The collection would probably be better off without Folk Implosion's tired New Order homage, Noise Addict's amateur sounds, Babe the Blue Ox's empty, histrionic stab at the blues, a weak track from the usually powerful Grifters, and the bland minimalist plodding that Gastr del Sol submitted. Even though there are a bunch of subpar tracks, Red Hot made enough smart choices when choosing the artists that Red Hot + Bothered becomes a fine sampler of indie rock circa 1995.

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