Various Artists – Not One Light Red: A Desert Extended

Various Artists
Not One Light Red: A Desert Extended

This is compilation shows off a wide range of flat-out rocking bands coming out of the Southwest. There are many big names showing up on this album, but they also share the spotlight with some you may not be aware of yet. There are a lot of very powerful performances here, and many are played straightforward and fast paced, though there is a lot of variety here as well. This compilations wide range of music opens this disc up to a wide range of fans as they will all find something different to enjoy here.
The Go Reflex starts the disc off in a great mood with “From Boxtop to Boxtop,” which sports amazing music and vocals. Bob Hoag accompanies himself very well with swirling keyboards and extremely competent backing performed by himself. Cursive is up next, and, as usual, the power and strength Tim Kasher brings to his music is incredible. The band checks in here with the previously released “The Great Decay,” originally released on the Burst and Bloom EP, but nonetheless it is still quite striking to hear the passion-filled vocals and angst-ridden guitar and cello.
Mock Orange lends a marvelous unreleased gem in “Song D’lux” with its pace changes and very impressive guitar playing. The vocals blend perfectly into this rather complex song. The one-two punch of Mock Orange and Bluetip back-to-back is quite a strong and effective punch in the mouth. The latter’s “Newport” is a fast and aggressive guitar-fest that gets its point across and does it in breakneck fashion.
There are some weak tracks here, like in any compilation. Some of these include Kristofer (you don’t know how it pains me to say this about someone who shares the same spelling of my name), Astrom, and Hidden Truck that comes off very clichéd and grating. The Format also comes off as really flat with little emotion, and the lyrics are what makes emo so difficult to listen to at points. Still some of these tunes that aren’t as striking have their merit and serve as a good example of how wide ranging music can be in a certain style.
This compilation is chockfull of rock and carries quite a pulverizing impact, which can make it hard to get through all the music in one sitting. There are only a few tracks here that are skip-worthy, but for the most part many of these songs succeed in showing a lot of force. The intensity that many of these bands put into these tracks can get a little too overpowering, as many of these bands are incredibly strong in their musicianship. With a good selection of music to choose from, you are sure to find something that floats your boat and will most likely be turned on to some new discoveries, which makes this comp. worthwhile.