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  Burning Records Ears to the Ground 2
Artist:  Various
Label:  Burning Records
Length:  19 tracks/70:06

There are bands that are underground because they choose to be and there are bands that are underground because they elicit grimaces from those above-ground.  Most of those on this compilation fall in the latter category.  Mildly competent pop punk, hardcore, metalcore, death metal, and rapcore make up the bulk of this second sampling of Burning Records bands. On the positive side, they do each manage the remarkable accomplishment of standing out from one another in sound.  They're aren't imitators, even if they are mediocre.  Most of them have EPs or full length CDs out, for those who have money to burn and a soft spot for morlock music.

A few bands here seem to have a sprinkling of originality and a germ of talent.  Undermind explore a distorted mixture of darkwave, industrial, and goth.  One Way Out has a decent female siren to accent their melodic rock. Severence is strangely transcendant with their terrific tortured howls and soft-spoken interludes.  Hero's Drive goes for an odd but refreshing guitar tapping solo in the midst of punk with emo leanings.  Vessel play paint-by-numbers hardcore like pros, with some nice atmospheric breakdowns.

If this compilation costs less than $10, it might be worth a listen for those just getting into hard music.  From one who's been around and heard a lot of music, though, I'd recommend most of these bands keep to the basement or their brother's backyard birthday bash.

Josh Spencer                       11/25/01



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