BOSTON/NE BANDS, Fresh Stream

Various Artists – BEAST Compilation (feat. Bent Knee, Pile, Palehound, CreaturoS, Michael Christmas + MORE)

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Spend enough time digging in record store crates, bopping in cramped basement venues, or rummaging through the sky-high data heaps of Bandcamp, Soundcloud, et al. and you’ll paint yourself into the corner of your own musical tastes. Sorting through mounds of media is what art obsessives do, but we often do it too well, curating an oasis of sound so airtight that we can’t break free, barring us from expanding our minds and keeping our asses shaking to the same old worn grooves. Luckily for even the most entrenched among us, the Record Company’s lovely new compilation BEAST, is emerging with time to spare to save you from a long winter walled up inside with your old crew of tunes, delivering a tremendous spread of new tracks from old friends and rabble-rousing heat from musicians you’ll now be eager to catch live once the snow melts.

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering “I wish Boston had more of a ____ scene,” then you’ll only need to get halfway through BEAST to realize that you weren’t looking hard enough. The affair kicks off with alt-stalwarts Animal Flag, whose track “Sink” rides waves of despair on drumming chops and chiming guitar leads deft enough for any night of bone-chilling uncertainty, before Michael Christmas emerges to fire an opening salvo for the CRIMINALLY underrated Boston Hip Hop scene on “Cross That Line”. His impossibly slick flow bounces through a Technicolor web of keys, snares, and snaps, serving up vignettes of childhood TV and post-adolescent reckoning with the “adult” realities of being “21 going on 36.”

Indeed, the hip-hop and rap offerings on this compilation are stellar throughout. STL GLD’s “Good” lights up with aquatic buzzes of 8-bit organ and aggressive percussion, stomping defiantly through disillusion with the hollowness at the end of the “money, power, respect” narrative that continues to run rampant through our lives, taking time to stop and wonder if we shouldn’t argue a bit more over the portions of the American Pie. And Dutch ReBelle professes her love for the Rude Boys all over the track of the same name, putting her honest to god “heavenly flow” to use in pushing anyone who’ll stand in the way of her dancing with danger aside, all over a buoyant island beat.

The rock crew turn in great performances as well, with Ruby Rose Fox’s “Skydiver” and Bent Knee’s “These Hands” coasting to theatrical heights atop the powerhouse vocals of two incredible and anthemic singers, despite the thundering instrumentation at their backs. And the beloved Palehound turn in another ghastly slice of tender grunge oblivion on “Sugary”, with enough raw hatred oozing from every vocal chord of singer Ellen Kempner to make you check your contacts to see if you’ve wronged anyone lately.

Featuring 13 of the best of us, BEAST is a worthwhile addition to your fall turntable wardrobe. Break free of your own musical clichés and let it reset your compass towards new horizons for a new year.

THE RECORD CO.’S ‘BOSTON SESSIONS VOL. 1: BEAST’ RELEASE PARTY :: Saturday, December 17 at Dorchester Brewing Company, 1250 Massachusetts Ave. in Dorchester, MA :: 5:30 p.m., free admission ::
Facebook event page :: Venue event page

BEAST comp Pledge Music Link <<<<<<<<<<<< 3 DAYS LEFT TO PLEDGE!!!!!!!!!

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