Various Artists : Rough Trade Shops 2002 : Counter Culture
There's quite a spread on offer here
And of course, yesterday's counter culture often makes for today's mainstream hits - as evidenced by the early inclusion of the recent number two chart hit, Electric Six's 'Danger! High Voltage'. There are plenty of other golden nuggets in this trove too.
Rubicks confound their legend as the world's most shambolic live band with 'Counter Culture''s most arresting contribution, the heart-bursting cold wave of 'Midas'. The Be Good Tanyas offer a glimpse of what country music unburdened of cliche sounds like with the aching 'Broken Telephone', there's great old school input from Tom Waits and ESG, while Baxter Dury, Schneider TM, Polyphonic Spree and Prefuse 73 ably spread their distinct new messages a little further. The ferocious ragga apocalypse of The Bug vs The Rootsman's 'Killer' also makes a welcome early intervention. Indeed, the first five tracks feature ragga mash-up, high voltage rock'n'roll, electronic cut-up, Germanic electro, and country. There's quite a spread on offer here.
It's not all good, naturally. And there's a time (roughly an hour and a quarter in) when the indie must stop. But there are forty-one tracks to plunge into and if you don't emerge with at least one new love affair then, friend, your local motorway service station can take care of all your listening needs.
To read all our reviews first - days before they appear online - check out NME magazine, on sale every Wednesday