4 stars Eclectica abounds on on this four-band snapshot compendium of dispatches from some of the country's more gloriously, and at times wilfully off-piste musical glories, who provide two songs apiece to this limited edition vinyl, alongside more of the same to be downloaded on purchase of an equally limited pack of customised beer. Plastic Animals kick things off with 'Sheltered,' a piece of sci-fi grunge that counterpoints urgent guitars and manic synth squiggles with laid-back stoner vocals. On side two, the band's second piece, 'Floating,' is jauntier, leaning here to more hypnotically voguish dream-pop stylings Magic Eye sound beamed in from behind a shoe-gazer's fringe, so beguilingly lovely are the swooping female vocals and echo-box filtered guitar patterns on 'Flamin' Teenage', which leaves plenty of swoonsome space to breathe. 'Japan' drifts off into similarly exotic waters, guitars pinging out oriental melodies as a spooky mantra coos over what sounds like a primitive drum-machine reconstituted for another age. Zed Penguin's 'Wandering' is a spartan, raggedy-assed lost soul's lament that sounds like it's been standing in a corner of CBGB'S feeling sorry for itself for the last thirty years, biding its melancholy time before delivering something magnificently skewed and deliciously morose. Zed Penguin's second track, 'Heathens' is a moodier, spookier-sounding affair, which pokes its musical finger in your chest with a loose-knit insistence that you can't help but be drawn into. On Le Thug's 'New Balance', slo-mo washing-machine drones provide a densely impressionistic backdrop for a vocal that sounds akin to one of One Dove's quieter moments. Their second piece, 'Sense in Scotland,' closes the record with a thirteen minute epic that frames a nursery rhyme vocal with an increasingly dense chug that builds into a monster-sized space rock soundscape under-pinned with little kosmiche rhythms that pulse it towards another stratosphere. All of which makes for a package tour in waiting that might just get messy.
The List, April 2013 ends