Various Artists - Louder Than The Crowd

The rock scene has become so fragmented of late and CDs are given away on the covers of magazines so often it takes a compilation CD with a difference to truly make an impact. Louder Than The Crowd is a compilation with a more underground slant than most and gives you can chance to try out an artist before you buy the full CD. Of course you could just use the net to do this but with 41 bands over 2 CDs it's even easier than downloading.

Funeral For A Friend, Kinesis, Spunge and Number One Son are probably the names recognizable to most of you and it shows the scope the label has gone to to bring a representation of the underground. Bands such as Million Dead, Breed 77 and The Blueprint are also amongst the more straightforward commercial rock sounds whereas a band such as Skindred who mix up ragga sounds with rock on "Vampire Slayer", Charger's grindcore on "1d" or Jarcrew's funk electronica influenced rock on "Paris & The New Math" push things forward a little further.

Naturally with so many bands across one double album there are bands that stand out for both the right and wrong reasons. Labrat, Johnny Truant and Palehorse have a great way with song titles on "Two Pigs F**king", "I Am The Primitologist Mr Robert Sapolsky" and "Holy Trinity Church Student Bar" respectively. Elsewhere bands stand out for being plain awful such as Winnebago Deal or X Is Greater Than Y.

Louder Than The Crowd isn't a great party compilation, it's too disjointed and extreme for that. What it is great for is discovering new bands and if you're the type of person who always arrives early to see the support bands you'll love a concept like this. You may even have heard or seen a few of them, but there's a guarantee that there's at least one of two bands on here you won't have heard a note of and for that reason it's a great purchase.

Alex McCann

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