Various Artists – 5 Years Of Bedroom Suck Records

Various Artists - 5 Years of Bedroom Suck Records

Various Artists – 5 Years of Bedroom Suck Records

The Australian music scene has been in remarkably rude health of late with the likes of Tame Impala and Courtney Barnett moving from the country’s musical margins to the heart of the globalised indie world.  Beavering a little more in the background of this new wave of creative fecundity – though certainly not flagging behind – is the Brisbane-birthed Bedroom Suck Records, which celebrates its 5th birthday with this generously proportioned 2LP compilation of one-offs, exclusives, previews and choice back catalogue extracts from the label’s existing roster and extended family.

Undoubtedly, the biggest initial attractions to the collection are the rare cuts from the label’s leading luminaries, which certainly don’t disappoint.  Thus, Blank Realm drop-in the reliably sneery Royal Trux-like “Digging Up My Bones,” Full Ugly unveil the wry yet warm Robert Forster-meets-Pavement delights of “Same Familiar Street,” Peter Escott unfurls a delightfully downbeat outtake from his recent The Long O long-player and Ela Stiles contributes the mesmerising spectral-folk of “Misplaced Charity” to beautifully extend upon the reach of her impressive eponymous solo debut from earlier this year.

Let in the door by the more familiar members of the Bedroom Suck household, strong numbers from lesser-known occupants and guests soon make their presence felt.  Hence, you’ll find the slurred Jesus Lizardisms of the aptly-anointed Slug Guts (“Dealin’ In The Dark”); the clangourous post-rock of Per Purpose (“Blind And Assistant”); harmony-coated folk-rock from Peak Twins (“China White”); the gnarled-up Raincoats post-punk of Terrible Truths (“False Hope”); the Jonathan Richman-meets-Camper Van Beethoven nervy geek chugging of Bitch Perfect (“Special Boy”); the Syd Barrett via Felt space-pop of Leighton Craig (“Catch Me, I’m On Fire”); the Cocteau Twins-indebted dark elegance of Superstar (“Glistening Bliss”); and the Alvvays-rivalling dream-pop of Totally Mild (“Take Today”).

Inevitably for a compilation with a 27-track girth and defiantly unvarnished aesthetics, a few things grate here and there (such as the ear-bleeding hardcore sludge of Loose Grip’s “Country Cop,” the wonky hip-hop of Silly Joel And The Candymen’s “Heroic Hearts Of The Candyman” and the gloom-electro of Angel Eyes’ “Bed”) but overall 5 Years Of Bedroom Suck Records is a remarkably ear-opening mix-tape transplanted into vinyl grooves, which looks backwards and forwards with buckets of charm.

Bedroom Suck Records (via Fire Records in some parts of the globe)