Various Artists

This Is Fort Apache

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This Is Fort Apache was a collection of songs by artists who had released records on the Fort Apache label. It is also a very predictable collection of 1990s alternative rock. Not that the songs are bad by any means, but they certainly don't break any new ground. Juliana Hatfield sounds exactly as one would expect on "Here Comes the Pain," Buffalo Tom sound exactly like Buffalo Tom on "Crutch," and even Cold Water Flat manage to sound like Buffalo Tom on "Magnetic North Pole." Elsewhere, Belly, Dinosaur Jr, the Lemonheads, Throwing Muses, and Sebadoh all run through fairly standard tracks. There are a number of highlights to this set, however. "Sulk" sees Billy Bragg in fine form, Radiohead provide one of the better moments from Pablo Honey in the form of "Anyone Can Play Guitar," and the late Mark Sandman's pre-Morphine group Treat Her Right provide the great, bluesy "I Think She Likes Me." As an example of '90s alternative rock, This Is Fort Apache features many of the heavyweights of the time. It's interesting then that it should be the lesser-known artists who manage to shine through.

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