Various Artists - Sonic Excess Sampler

One reason that the rock scene has flourished over the years is its ability to fly in the face of adversity and grow a strong following simply by word of mouth and also through a general thirst for new music from its audience. Long before the Nu-Metal sand the US Skate Punk scenes became in vogue with the media, there were still hoards of kids going out each night checking out new bands and moshing like it was their last except that there wasn't a camera crew there back in the day interviewing the kids to see what's going down. The Sonic Excess sampler defies the capitalist workings of your major label and delivers an outstanding 16 tracks from some of the newer acts on Earache label for the pocket money price of £1 (or to keep it up to date 1.50 Euro's)...and what initially seems like total madness will reap its benefits when each of these bands play to sold out audiences next time they tour the UK.

From the opening crunches of Dillinger Escape Plan's "Monticello" to the Berzerker's "Pain" there's no let up from the aural assault, with the possible exceptions of Rakoth's "Fear(Wasn't In The Design)" which starts off like Meat Loaf before progressing to a Riverdance meets Rammstein version of Pop Goes The Weasel and then taking us on Prog Rock journey which makes Radiohead look the ambassadors of 3 chord punk rock.

Veering from the hard-core techno-rock noise clash of the December Wolves "Porn Again Christian" to the more straight up rock sounds of The Haunted on "Bury Your Dead" its a journey of experimentation and discovery. Not that its just 16 unknown bands on display here - check out the aforementioned Dillinger Escape Plan who recently toured with System Of A Down or Linea 77 who went down a storm a few years back on the One Minute Silence supports. Also check out Mortiis and The Bezerker who take the drama and the theatre of the darkest horror movie and mix it with mind-blowing music.

At the of just £1 you really can't complain at a compilation which not only undercuts an issue of Metal Hammer or Kerrang, but beats most of the commercial rock compilations on offer at the moment. Maybe if you've got an extra pound to spare you could buy it for a loved one or maybe just distribute them in your 6th Form Common room to those chart loving parasites. Its out this week so check out your local independent record store or log onto and buy online.

Alex McCann

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