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article by: Michael Canter

05 February 2011

CD Review - Per Capita 2010 Sampler

"The Quick & Easy Boys May Have Just Struck Gold" - Inner Ear Media

Release Date: 02 November 2010

Genre: Alternative Rock/Lo-Fi/Indie/Progressive/Avant-Garde/Jazz/Trip-Hop/Trance

Publisher: 2010 Per Capita Records

Label: Per Capita

Time: 40m 45s

Review Date:05-February-2011

Format: MP3

JivePK™: N/A

Click Cover Art To Purchase

Track Listing:

01. Take Your Medicine by The Quick & Easy Boys 4:04
02. Hedonist by Sharon Lang 4:23
03. Flippin' Out by Ya Za 3:59
04. More Than That by Jonathan Winstead 3:40
05. No Matter What by Automatic Black 3:30
06. Baby Blue by Rachel Pearl 3:49
07. Giving Up The Ghost by How German It Is 3:19
08. Lemon Tree by Vindan & The Zion Band 4:00
09. Lunatics Desire by Film Noir World 5:24
10. Theme From End Games by Schizoid Club 4:37


Normally, I do not review compilation or sampler releases. It is often difficult to assess an artist correctly when the offering is merely a one song sample size. While reading, bear in mind that I am reviewing each of these songs individually and this compilation as a whole, and each synopsis should not be misconstrued as a encompassing generalization of each artist in whole or in part. For that reason I am including links to each artist's studio release so that you can further delve into the product that each has to offer, and I am hoping you will. The compilation format is, after all, a way for you to get a taste of each artist with the hope that some or all of the music listed catches your ears and your eyes.

As far as the compilation in general, there’s a fluidity to the collection which is a major strength. It’s all very easy and a seductive invitation to get further involved with each artist. Overall, this sampler is an accomplished body of work that serves as a befitting representation of the Per Capita label and it's superior stable of indie and avant-garde artists.

01. Take Your Medicine by The Quick & Easy Boys
From The Album: Red Light Rabbit

The bar is set ridiculously high by an opener that is infectiously catchy. "Take Your Medicine" is intense and relentless indie power-pop, and, despite a healthy dose of musical bravado, never overstated. Generally, the pace is fast and furious and a whole lot of fun. A combination of funk and upbeat honky-tonk with a punk demeanor added for good measure elevates this number to instant classic status. Electric, energetic and almost frenzied at times without any sense of self-indulgence, it's impossible not to become addicted to this song.

02. Hedonist by Sharon Lang
From The Album: Lovers and Thieves

Wow. This is 100% pure and unbridled libidinous seduction that is so alluring you may feel the need to chain yourself up. The appropriately titled "Hedonist" is an understated, low-fi, teasing groove that features Sharon's seductive voice set against a demure violin and acoustic guitar accompaniment. The end result is emphatically scorching. Reminiscent of Rickie Lee Jones in vocal structure and arrangement, Lang decisively delivers with this song. "Hedonist" may be the sexiest song I have ever heard. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

03. Flippin' Out by Ya Za
From The Album: Bipolar In Stereo (Extended Album)

"Flippin' Out" is an entrancing song from multi-genre singer/songwriter, Ilyasin “Ya Za” Zarifa that is a melodious and resoundingly beautiful effort. The song deliberately ascends to a grinding climax using a simplistic groove punctuated by unexpected vocal inflections. The combination lends a dreamy airiness to the song’s sad-but-not-depressing tone. It may take a couple of thorough listens to get hooked, but once you realize Ya Za's encompassing delicate power you'll embrace this effort.

04. More Than That by Jonathan Winstead
From The Album: Mystery Of Man

A seductive R&B roots effort, "More Than That" is a stellar groove from multi-dimensional and highly-polished singer Jonathan Winstead. Offering a flare that seems to have all but disappeared in the last decade or so, Winstead delivers a tireless apotheosis that resonates in soul and swagger. The song has a beautiful melody, great vocals and persuasive lyrics. Fans of true, old-school R&B will love this song and if you're not careful, Jonathan Winstead will simply envelop you.

05. No Matter What by Automatic Black
From The Album: The Automatic Black EP

"No Matter What" is easily the most radio-friendly song on the Per Capita Sampler. Reminiscent of Matchbox Twenty with a summer-anthem feel, the song is catchy without being too sugary. The real strength of this track is it's inimitable guitar hooks and lyrics that are simple but not without purpose. It's easy to imagine this song getting heavy rotational airplay. That's not to suggest Automatic Black doesn't have the depth or sagacity usually associated with indie rock and pop. Simplicity in indie music works well, too, just ask The Black Keys. "No Matter What" is a sublime pop hit.

06. Baby Blue by Rachel Pearl
From The Album: Love Extravagantly

Rachel Pearl's modern compositional influences were worn on her sleeve during the recording of "Baby Blue." Billie Holliday. Peggy Lee. Madeleine Peyroux. Joni Mitchell. Like her predecessors, Pearl is proficient in the art of highly expressive balladry. It's rare that a jazz artist can combine "playful" and "torch" in the same song, and even more difficult to pull it off as successfully as Pearl does here. An innate arrangement and declarative phrasing makes "Baby Blue" both nostalgically vivid and immediate.

07. Giving Up The Ghost by How German It Is
From The Album: The Seasonal

The formula to be the next indie darlings is scribed in this single from How German It Is. “Giving Up the Ghost” starts with a minimalist folk riff and a repetitive, low-fi cadence before slowly ascending into a crescendo of chaotic, garage-guitar ecstasy. Complex and layered, this song is an homage to the fuzzy psychedelia sound of bands like Primal Scream and My Bloody Valentine, so it is not as mainstream as some of the other songs on this compilation. If you do not know those bands, maybe this isn't the type of song that will grab you upon first listen. Allow yourself the opportunity to warm up to "Giving Up The Ghost" and in time you'll find that this is an almost stunning track.

08. The Lemon Tree by Vindan & The Zion Band
From The Album: Vindan & The Zion Band

From Sydney, Australia - Vindan and The Zion Band's music is a heady, mystic brew - the music itself is a blend of Reggae, Rock, Roots, Blues and other mellow styles. The band takes the hybrid to a new and higher ground with an arrangement similar in fashion to Ben Harper or Xavier Rudd. A touch edgy, a bit melodic and a little profound with a spiritual quality, "The Lemon Tree" is a breezy song with a clean foundation. It is island-anthemic, which is to say in a word, "good."

09. Lunatics Desire by Film Noir World (featuring Lisa Rider)
From The Album: Dark Earth

I love the term trip-hop. We're basically using the term in the industry to define an amalgamation of down-tempo electronic house, post-punk ambiance and acid-jazz with a little bit of soul thrown in for good measure. "Lunatics Desire" is a great foray into trip-hop for the newbie. A brooding, moody track, illuminated only by Lisa Rider's soothing, impossibly desirous crooning, this track is a gorgeous and dreamy soundscape that is initially strong and keeps getting better with each listen. On a very good sound system this song will benumb you.

10. Theme From End Games by Schizoid Club
From The Album: Schizoid Club

"Theme From End Games" has elements of electro house, progressive house, and pure trance. The song incorporates incredible range, and if you are new to trance and progressive house this song is a great way to get acclimated to it's ambiance. Additionally, Schizoid Club fuses a hint of breakbeat and dubstep with late 70's funk and house to give "Theme From End Games" a slightly diminished, poly-rhythmic edge, more along the lines of Daft Punk than say, Deadmau5. Jazz T provides the deck work on the song. As former ITF U.K scratch champ he needs little introduction. Though the song may not be anything innovative, it certainly has a very infectious sound.

About Per Capita Records:

Based in Nashville, TN, Per Capita Records® is a progressive independent Nashville record label, representing a comprehensive variety of avant-garde music in multi-genre format. For more about the label and their impressive catalog of talent, please visit their website: www.percapitarecords.com

Of Related Interest: Jivewired Top 50 Spins Of 2010


Indienink Music said...

tyOutstanding Review here! Great insight!...
Marlene @ Indienink Music

Mike from Jivewired.com said...

Thank you Marlene, I appreciate the kind words.