February 17, 2005

Various Artists "It's A Trap! Readers Companion"

The music scene is so fertile in Scandinavia, a Pitchfork-style website has emerged. Called It's A Trap, this site is updated daily, with news and reviews for excellent bands you've more than likely never heard--or will ever hear, outside of Soulseek. That such a website exists is proof enough that we Americans aren't always getting the full scope of what's going on abroad, proving that 'comprehensive' doesn't properly serve the description of some (most?) American music media outlets. It's a great resource worth examining.

As you'd expect from such a general website, the music found on It's a Trap Readers Companion Volume One pretty much covers all bases of musical styles. The one consistent factor is that almost all of the songs are excellent. It's also obvious that the biggest band from the area, The Soundtrack Of Our Lives, is a massive influence. Of course, there's also the Hives, and their garage rock style is also noticeable, too. (Neither bands appear hear, though.) Thankfully, there's more interesting music than that; there's country (The Lionheart Brothers, Waver), pretty pop (Jim Stark, Isolation Years), crunchy pop-rock (David & The Citizens, Thirdimension), folk (Jose Gonzales) and even a weird moment or two (Desert Planet). Even though there are some styles I just don't like, I can't say that any of those songs are particularly bad, and I haven't hit the skip button yet.

There's plenty of great music here, and at the rather cheap price of six bucks, it's a steal. All I know is that it's a risky proposition for you, though, because if you're broke like me, you'll be tempted to spend your hard-earned money seeking out more records by many of these acts. Volume Two cannot come soon enough!

--Joseph Kyle

Compilation Website: http://www.itsatrap.com/vol1
Label Website: http://www.itsatrap.com

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