Music Review: Compulation Three by uncdiversions

Various Artists

Compulation Three: Songs from North Carolina

(Pox World Empire)

Compilations are a tricky business.

Proving whatever point you’re trying to make or earning money for a cause is work enough. When you add to that the goal of putting together a disc that’s both high quality and sequenced so that it retains momentum in the way of a proper LP, you’re looking at quite a large task.

On Compulation Three: Songs from North Carolina, its third collection of tracks from the state’s bands, Chapel Hill label Pox World Empire accomplishes its purpose of exposing great local bands while also crafting a disc that’s an excellent listen.

The sequencing is what really makes this collection take off. Very rarely making huge jumps in mood, the record moves easily from style to style, using its occasional huge shifts to keep the listener’s attention over its 21 tracks.

And while many of the best songs here such as the caustic surgery joke of Americans in France’s “Nose Job” and The Old Ceremony’s plea for anonymity “The Disappear” are or soon will be available on proper releases, there are still enough fantastic premieres or exclusives here to make it more than worth a purchase.

Chapel Hill’s The Honored Guests open the festivities with “Talk Talk Talk,” a sarcastic critique of the excuses and crutches we use to get ourselves through life that’s made into a self-effacing anthem by the band’s pounding, buoyant pop-rock.

But the best song here is Dan Bryk’s “Hang Around.” Displaying his top-notch songwriting, Bryk explains his hesitation over proceeding with a relationship with clever lines such as, “Maybe if you cared what I really wanted, you’d give me more than your hand.” The dancy arrangement set alive by a prancing organ part makes it an irresistible half-love song that’s just as useful for a break up as it is for a start up.

And while there are a few duds, it’s easy to overlook them when confronted with the bevy of gems the compilation has to offer.

With other excellent new tracks from Chapel Hill’s Auxiliary House and Nathan Oliver, Durham’s Midtown Dickens and Greensboro’s Filthybird among others, Compulation Three has more than enough kick to make anyone take notice of North Carolina bands.

But it is also a well-ordered, high-quality disc that deserves a purchase from fans who have grown to love these artists already. Guess Pox has this compilation thing down pat.

– By Diversions Editor Jordan Lawrence


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