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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).

Popgun Recordings
Zip-locked and Loaded Vol. 3 (Cassette Tape)

Neato, nimble, nifty, (g)narly, and nubile. Shmat thinks the latest zip-lock bag compilation from Popgun Recordings is all of the above. (And he bets you wish he said "naked" as well, huh-huh ... huh-huh). Actually, one of the best things about this tape compilation was that it was fairly short, at only 6 songs total ... it was for that reason that the score now stands at 3-1 in favor of the Shmat in the "Walkman" battle royale. So maybe the auto-reverse function has gone belly up now; Shmat still got through the entire tape. Another good thing about having only a few songs is that Shmat gets to spend more words per artist from the comp.

"Luminosity", a short little shanty by Jen Turrell (Boyracer, Rabbit In Red) reminded the Shmat of Mirah, with it's simple setup of just acoustic guitar and sweet vocals, but with bingely-beeping bells trickling all over the place. Boyracer is a great band, by the way. Next come The Bright Ideas who also know a thing or two about a good pop tune. On "You Don't Wanna Be The One", the guitar lines remind the Shmat strangely of some songs off of REM's Dead Letter Office covers album ... he's not sure why. This band is the brainchild of Sacto's Scott Miller, whose voice sounds pleasantly like the guy from the Masters of the Hemisphere, who are sadly no more. Tippy Young rounds out the first side with her contribution "Dead Ends". If Mary Lou Lord had not gotten Elliotsmith-itis, she might have continued busking down the same road that Tippy travels on this nice acoustic number.

The second side lurches to a start with Glenn Toots' cover of Outkast's "Ms. Jackson". The Shmat doesn't know that band ... but holy Shmatty shoes! This is weird and weirderer. Mr. Toots sounds like a vibrato-infused Stephen Merritt at a piano audition for One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. Pipper the Kissing Cat's contribution "Sweet + Sugary" showcases the bratty vocals of Leslie Dallion amidst ominous Nintendo goosesteps. But unlike the princess from Marioland, Leslie's definitely no maiden in distress. "Sweet and Sugary like a kick in the head", indeed!

Shmat was reading the liner notes really quickly so he actually thought that The Bright Lights, who contribute the last song on the tape, were the same band as The Bright Ideas. Whoops! Shmat thinks miniature elves might have invaded the control room where "Let's Do It Again" was recorded and taken over the speed controls. This is a seriously fun track full of helium gas vocals and high speed Thumper the Rabbit type drums. Or maybe they drank too much coffee before playing?

Shmat knows you'll get a kick out of this comp, if you have the means to play it ... as always Popgun trafficks exclusively in tapes. But what tasty tapes they are!

- review by SHMAT (6.14.03)        

Popgun Recordings
P.O. Box 7374
Riverside, CA 92513

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