Music

Various Artists: Shake Yer Popboomerang Volume 2

Justin Cober-Lake

Various Artists

Shake Yer Popboomerang Volume 2

Label: Popboomerang
US Release Date: 2004-04-28
UK Release Date: 2004-04-28
Amazon
iTunes

Popboomerang announces its intention with its newest Australian pop music sampler from the first chords. Shake Yer Popboomerang Volume 2 opens with a couple of classic pop-guitar chords over a simple drum pattern before kicking into the album's theme song, performed by Her Majesty's Finest. The song has a catchy hook and sounds radio-ready, like much of this collection.

The simplistic and accessible nature of the music works as the sampler's greatest strength and weakness. Many of the songs on this second volume are so catchy that they immediately stick in your head. Over the course of 23 tracks, however, the individual songs get lost in the mix, because they mostly give out a bland summer-fun sort of vibe. Each of the acts on Shake Yer Popboomerang sounds poised to be the next big star, but few of them show any true innovation or creativity. While there are few tracks that you'll want to skip over, there are very few that you'll need to come back to.

The Tranquilizers provide one of those standout tracks with "Stop, Go", the group's first commercially released song. Unlike most of the bands on the sampler, the Tranquilizers get more of their sound from keyboards than from guitars. It's not just a nice change of pace, though, as "Stop, Go" is the disc's third track; instead, it's just an example of good songwriting marking its place. The Hovercrafts also make good use of keys with a bouncy piano line in "For the Love and the Sound". The group matches the good-time piano bounce with some straightforward post-punk vocals. The song teeters between hip fun and grating teenbop, but it comes out ahead.

Many of the lyrics of Shake 2 are teenagerish, with a kind of emo slant. The album contains a fair amount of brooding, and concerns over lost or troubling love. The music never gets too dark, but some of these bands need to show some maturation before they'll be ready to leave their mark. As it stands now, these tracks mostly just serve to keep the tone from being too happy amid all these pop songs.

It's not always necessary to be innovative to be successful. The Mome Raths prove this point with "You Trip Me". The song has a British-invasion feel to it, and has an especial reference to the Who's "I Can See for Miles". With its one-note guitar solo and crashing chords, the band shows that simple music can still rock hard. Vocally, the Mome Raths use basic harmony to complete the retro feel. "You Trip Me" has garage elements, but with updated production and a clean sound. The Mome Raths aren't alone in their dependence on classic rock, or even on the British invasion in particular. The retro sound of these acts plays better than some of the more contemporary artists who end up sounding just a bit behind the times. Dollar Bar, for example, has a post-grunge sound that makes it feel out-of-date rather than retro.

The Popboomerang label deserves credit for the way it's selected the songs for its sampler. Instead of merely providing a collection of singles or marketable tracks, the disc's compilers have included otherwise unavailable tracks in almost every instance. Fans can obtain Shake Yer Popboomerang Volume 2 without duplicating songs already in their collections. Some of these bands are unknowns, and matching them with more established (if not famous) acts give them a better chance at exposure. While none of these tracks are mind-blowing, this CD serves as a good example on how to assemble a sampler by using a consistent tone, solid if unspectacular songs, and surprisingly good unknowns.

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

Keep reading... Show less

Pauline Black may be called the Queen of Ska by some, but she insists she's not the only one, as Two-Tone legends the Selecter celebrate another stellar album in a career full of them.

Being commonly hailed as the "Queen" of a genre of music is no mean feat, but for Pauline Black, singer/songwriter of Two-Tone legends the Selecter and universally recognised "Queen of Ska", it is something she seems to take in her stride. "People can call you whatever they like," she tells PopMatters, "so I suppose it's better that they call you something really good!"

Keep reading... Show less

Morrison's prose is so engaging and welcoming that it's easy to miss the irreconcilable ambiguities that are set forth in her prose as ineluctable convictions.

It's a common enough gambit in science fiction. Humans come across a race of aliens that appear to be entirely alike and yet one group of said aliens subordinates the other, visiting violence upon their persons, denigrating them openly and without social or legal consequence, humiliating them at every turn. The humans inquire why certain of the aliens are subjected to such degradation when there are no discernible differences among the entire race of aliens, at least from the human point of view. The aliens then explain that the subordinated group all share some minor trait (say the left nostril is oh-so-slightly larger than the right while the "superior" group all have slightly enlarged right nostrils)—something thatm from the human vantage pointm is utterly ridiculous. This minor difference not only explains but, for the alien understanding, justifies the inequitable treatment, even the enslavement of the subordinate group. And there you have the quandary of Otherness in a nutshell.

Keep reading... Show less
3

A 1996 classic, Shawn Colvin's album of mature pop is also one of best break-up albums, comparable lyrically and musically to Joni Mitchell's Hejira and Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks.

When pop-folksinger Shawn Colvin released A Few Small Repairs in 1996, the music world was ripe for an album of sharp, catchy songs by a female singer-songwriter. Lilith Fair, the tour for women in the music, would gross $16 million in 1997. Colvin would be a main stage artist in all three years of the tour, playing alongside Liz Phair, Suzanne Vega, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Meshell Ndegeocello, Joan Osborne, Lisa Loeb, Erykah Badu, and many others. Strong female artists were not only making great music (when were they not?) but also having bold success. Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill preceded Colvin's fourth recording by just 16 months.

Keep reading... Show less
9

Frank Miller locates our tragedy and warps it into his own brutal beauty.

In terms of continuity, the so-called promotion of this entry as Miller's “third" in the series is deceptively cryptic. Miller's mid-'80s limited series The Dark Knight Returns (or DKR) is a “Top 5 All-Time" graphic novel, if not easily “Top 3". His intertextual and metatextual themes resonated then as they do now, a reason this source material was “go to" for Christopher Nolan when he resurrected the franchise for Warner Bros. in the mid-00s. The sheer iconicity of DKR posits a seminal work in the artist's canon, which shares company with the likes of Sin City, 300, and an influential run on Daredevil, to name a few.

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image