Various Artists

Urban Noise Vol. 1 - Traffic

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Urban Noise is a compilation designed to promote local NYC bands to outlets like college radio. The album features six groups, with each contributing two songs. Orange Park delivers a giddy, nearly power pop kick with some Weezer influence, and with great harmonies, too. Astronaut is quieter, but still strong in the songwriting department, while Man on Earth's "Now Go" seems to be crossing the Cure with detached indie rock. 383 Stroker's "Novocaine" is akin to the radio-ready modern rock of American Hi-Fi, while submissions by New Vintage and Stellar Tuesday offer tracks in a similarly slick alt rock vein. There's a strong command of harmony from all the bands involved, and musicianship seems to come before style, which is a refreshing change from some of the more substance-less flash that's come out of Williamsburg or the swamps of Jersey.

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