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Cleaning House
Artists: Various 
Label: Devil In the Woods Records
Length: 13 tracks at 52:06 minutes 

West coast magazine and label Devil in the Woods has released an  interesting compilation featuring several of their favorite bands. Very well put together, this mix of new indie rock coming out of California is exciting music.

Devil in the Woods showcases an impressive stable of California bay area artists nicely. Entertaining the listener with new catchy music from groups like Snowmen, Fiver, Rodriguez, Dumptruck, Earlimart, Shallow, Half Film, and Zmrzlina. The music covers styles from pop folk to sloppy noise rock. One prolific artist that is in a couple of the bands, as well as having a couple of solo songs, is Cole Marquis. Formerly of the Downsiders, who contribute the title tune, "Cleaning House," from their 1988 release, All My Friends Are Fish, Marquis' song writing and acoustic guitar give the disk a solid scrapbook feeling. However, most of the record is good electric rock played out in a relaxing balance of attitude and attention, by a talented array of bands. It's a very charming, refreshing potpourri of well written songs.

I'm impressed with the songs, the sounds and the execution. But honestly, I don't have a clue as to whether anything on this record is made by, or for Christians. If there is I missed it, and I listened. I can also tell you that I noticed some things on the web site that could offend some believers, although not on the CD. If you are interested in hearing from some fine, talented new artists making noise on the left coast, and have $3.00 to spare, go ahead and order "Cleaning House." It is a wonderful collection, and a really fine look into what's going on in the secular indie rock scene.

Tony LaFianza 3/26/2000


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