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Shmat's Reviews
For more reviews, please visit Palebear which is where all future Shmat reviews will appear (as of March 2006).

Humblebee Recordings
Hey! Where'd The Summer Go? (CD)

Hey, all of you summer bums. Rumor has it that I waited until August 31 to review the Humblebee Compilation entitled quite appropriately Hey! Where'd The Summer Go. You know, for a good lead in... something like, "the summer is over and why not close it out by listening to this fitting compilation." The truth is I'm lazy. Lazy like lazy summer days. And now that the summer's over and I'm not as lazy... seque into long promised review. A great way to kick out the jams for the back to school season, a final surge of indie music before the snow starts. What am I talking about. It's 100 degrees today in Cali. Anyhow, Columbus kick off the comp with the bouncy excellent "Turncoats". This is followed shortly by the poppy "Monument" by Sleepy Township and then the double trouble mid-fi threat that is The Lil' Hospital and The State of Samuel who are always favorites over here at Shmat. Those two in particular set the tone of the album early which is often boisterously uptempo, though there are still some calm and quiet tracks within the 24 on the disc.

Next up is "Smoke and Mirrors" by the Film Stills (Kyle, the main dude at Humblebee, plays in this great band). Postal Blue mellows out the mood a bit with the contemplative "Rainy Day". I liked the bossa drum machine and vibes of The Christmas Sweaters in "July" (Christmas in July, hehe) and the Liberty Ship got me going with "If I Knew The Answers". Next, three straight Swedish bands who rock in a popalicious manner: The Fermats, myredpocketbook, and The Busy Band (which features Samuel Petersson from State of Samuel). Man, Sweden puts out so much good indiepop stuff these days. The fingersnapping of The Diskettes snuggled up quite nicely with Kyle Bjornson's other project, the intimate Broken Hearts Club. There's quite a selection of countries represented on this compilation so it truly is an international showcase of pop; besides Sweden there's bands from Australia, Canada, UK, Finland, Brazil, and the Phillipines. Under Shooting Stars is the representative from the Phillipines and they play an interesting type of pop on "Clouds Upon Clouds" with ghostly vocals and a casio type drum machine holding things together. I liked the Snow Fairies and Miss July a lot with their airy female vocals that are cut from the same cloth. Then we get "Still Blue" from Adelie who like their Brazilian compatriots, Postal Blue, use those major 7ths to good effect. Volcano reminds me a lot of Sissybar at times, though less goofy. And Evie rounds out the end of summer with a bang and not a whimper in the raucous and distorted "Day of Defeat". Fight fight fight indeed! But for most of the album it is instead smooth pop rock sailing. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where this summer has gone.

- review by SHORTY (8.31.04)        

Humblebee Recordings
10654-82 Avenue NW, Suite 323
Edmonton, AB T63 2A7 Canada

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