Various Artists – Mass Transit: A Compilation of Northwest Musicians

Various Artists
Mass Transit: A Compilation of Northwest Musicians

Woodson Lateral Record’s website boasts that they’re proud of the Mass Transit compilation, and they should be. Beyond the fact that they coordinated an album with 15 different bands contributing and beyond the very cool fact that this comp is promoting a region (all of these bands are Pacific Northwest residents) as well as the record label, lies this: the album flat rocks. And none of these bands sound alike.
This is a congregation of similar-minded indie artists expressing themselves with completely different sounds. The songs represent some of the best from their respective genres: indie, electronica, math rock, drum ‘n’ bass, post rock, synth-pop, americana… it’s all here. Maybe every band involved saved their absolute best stuff for this project, but I doubt it. Without examining the output of every group, it’s hard to judge that fact. Every single track, though, is interesting and cool. And in today’s world of bandwagon-jumpers and play-by-numbers punk-pop it’s a sweet, soothing sound to sore ears.
The other incredible thing about this compilation is the fact that it plays so seamlessly from song to song. Most samplers don’t have much continuity, but this one does. Which is probably why it reminds me of listening to really great independent rock radio (think WOXY/97X or KROQ/106.7).
And every track is great. Inevitably, some of these songs, for various reasons, stick out more than others: “Voice of Space” by Trucker of the Sea is phenomenal, so is The Getter Flash‘s “Days Of Living Velvet.” Recidivist turned in a track titled “May.03.2001” that’s superb, The Trail vs Russia track is awesome, too. But this is almost like splitting hairs simply because the entire collection is so, so good. Other bands included are: The Sweet Science, Wimbledon, Sysex, Lover/Adapter, Mines, Hello From Waveland, Deception Pass, The Building Press, The Dutchflat, Exbestfriends, and Lamplighter.
Basically, just blindfold yourself and hit play, you won’t be disappointed.