Various Artists

We're Twins: Our Sampler 2001

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We're Twins: Our Sampler 2001, which comes from the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based We're Twins label, is a scattered, strange and exciting compilation of tracks from eighteen diverse artists. The album features everything from catchy, Röyksopp-like electronics by Strikeforce:Euler to rock-weaned free jazz from The Avant Gardeners to plaintive country balladry from Kelly Caldwell. There's also electronic noise by I Am A Nobukazu Takemura Cover Band, off-kilter pop from The Rants and And Spiders, and a demented cover of The Archies' "Sugar Sugar" by Dawgz. Stylistically, Our Sampler is all over the place, but it all hangs together thanks to its bands' desire to spike nearly every second of the record with off-the-cuff weirdness. Even Caldwell's "Long Enough," the most traditional song here, features a warbling, disruptive backing vocal that's perfectly out of place. Even for listeners familiar with the outer reaches of lo-fi indie rock and noise, Our Sampler won't always be easy to listen to, but it has charm to spare.

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