Thursday, 1 August 2013

Various Artists- Sea Monsters 3

2013 sees the third incarnation of the Sea Monsters festival-come-showcase of the best new music Brighton has to offer. Covering a dizzying array of genres, while the "Sea Monsters 3" compilation features an abundance of electronic artists, there's something for everyone with punk, grunge, psyche, hip-hop and folk all jostling for space across the two hours running time. With 25 tracks from all corners of the Brighton music scene, this is a perfect introduction to the diversity and talent on offer.

An early highlight comes in the form of LUO's "Fears" which twins gentle piano with glitchy electronics and comes across like a stripped down THREE TRAPPED TIGERS. "Aquarius" by SOCCER96 is a more intelligent take on the EDM scene which is currently dominating the charts complete with keyboard sounds inspired by retro arcade games. The highlight of disc one, however, are NEGATIVE PEGASUS and THE PHYSICS HOUSE BAND with "Natural Jazz" and "Abraxical Solapse" respectively. Both bands have completely different yet equally brilliant variations on the psyche genre with "Natural Jazz" displaying a clear ONEIDA influence which sets expectations high for the follow up to last year's brilliant "Looming". On "Abraxical Solapse", the highlight from their debut EP "Horizons/ Rapture" THE PHYSICS HOUSE BAND mix math-rock and free jazz into their psyche melting pot to create a truly unique sound. The disc concludes with the angular post-hardcore of BROKER and, probably the best known act here, GNARWOLVES playing pop-punk the way it should be; loud, fast and fun.

Disc two starts with a hip-hop double bill from SUAVE DEBONAIR and RUM COMMITTEE, both acts perform with the requisite energy and swagger but the lounge jazz backing track on RUM COMMITTEE's "Bar After Bar" clinches the deal. The brilliantly titled "Hard Being Strange" by PLASTICINE provides a light-hearted take on indie while LOOSE LIPS' "Dr Evil" recalls a time when emo wasn't a dirty word which suggests a diet of early-TAKING BACK SUNDAY and pre-reunion BLINK 182. The stripped back 90's indie of "Little Rope" isn't the most original of sounds but TIGERCUB pull it off well enough and, with a grunge revival in full swing, they seem ideally placed to gain momentum in the coming months. Out of the bands showcased on disc two, though, it's ABI WADE who proves the highlight with her simple singer-songwriter material uplifted with subtle electronic touches and a cello. As is always the case with compilations like this, the quality varies from track to track but if you keep your finger hovering over the skip button on your stereo, there are hidden gems to be dug out whatever your musical taste. (6/10)

"Sea Monsters 3" is out now through One Inch Badge

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