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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).

Asaurus Records
Spring Sampler (CD)

As with everything Asaurus, Shmat thinks the new Spring Sampler is a fun experience not only for the music contained within but for the handmade packaging. This is why the Shmat always talks about the artwork before moving on to the music for the Asaurus releases... because it's actually worth talking about. With it's puffy cloud writing, this cool hand drawn cover reminds the Shmat of some of Daniel Johnston's cartoon artwork.

The Shmat knows more than half the bands on the sampler already so for him it was like listening to a mix tape an old friend might have made. Elliott The Letter Ostrich contributes their signature electronic space pop coupled with penchant sighs on two tracks on the comp. The 32-Bit Handhelds, who Shmat will probably be reviewing in a few weeks, make frenetic, casio-driven punk overtures in the style of the Ramones and Fountains of Wayne. The Diskettes are their usual maraca shaking, ukelele strumming, tropical selves on "Come On Over" and "Gossip".

Some of the artists on here, the Shmat hadn't heard before. This Bank Holiday plays perfect weather pop for lonelyhearts on "Matthew visits (and learns to like) the People's Republic Of China" with telephonized vocals over sweet acoustic guitar melodies. when i know you will too (e.e. cummings would be proud), makes dreamy bell-driven instrumental monologues. Smithsonian continues this trend with acoustic guitars submerged in clouds of mic rumbling. Rusty Tomaski provides two tracks of nice and moody lo-fi folk pop. Bugg Superstar, which actually disbanded in 1997, contribute distorted 'n contorted pre-emo rock that would make J. Mascis wet his pants.

Asaurus is coming out with another of these compilations in a few weeks, so Shmat thinks you might want to get your hands on that one as well if you dig this current sampler.

- review by SHMAT (7.5.03)        

Asaurus Records
PO Box 0664
Allen Park, MI 48101-0664

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