Various Artists

Us

by Mike Pace

 

The general rule of thumb to be applied to compilations is that for every good track there are approximately four that are bad. This harsh reality that plagues those of us who enjoy perusing the bargain bin for records such as this one (in our case, a dual label sampler) hits almost every time, yet no matter how many dollars that have been spent on shitty comps, both the mind and wallet seem to find no justifiable reason not to buy anything if the price is fair.

Hyped as a budget-priced look at the world of Up and Slabco Records, US (the first letters of Up and Slabco—get it?) is the consummate compilation, a collection of hit-and-miss tracks, most of which focus on more electronic based artists from these labels’ catalogs. Many potential consumers might be swayed by the appearance of Modest Mouse, whose “Edit the Sad Parts” can also be found on the now out-of-print Interstate 8. Tracks that are surprisingly good also include “You Name It,” by the Cannanes with Explosion Robinson and “Smokey Gift” by Mike Johnson, but what you mostly get here is what is considered by the press release to be “Casiocore,” which basically describes a genre composed entirely of bespectacled indie-rock nerds fooling around with their SK-1s. Some of it is good (Octant, Land of the Loops), some is mindless self-indulgence (Volume All*Star, The Concretes), but all of it is cheap and somewhat filling if you are throwing your money around like it’s going out of style, since this record is a “bargain.” Save your lunch money and pick this up if you see it for a dollar somewhere.

cover art

Various Artists

Us

(Slabco)

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