Album Review: Various Artists - David Cameron's Eton Mess.

Lo-Fi music has always been considered quite cool, hasn't it? It has never really been truly a mainstream genre by its own definition and as such has managed to maintain its urbane appeal. David Cameron has always been considered quite uncool, hasn't he? As a general rule, Scottish people don't like him. Thus, this juxtaposed amalgamation has brought us David Cameron's Eton Mess, which is a collection of Lo-Fi tracks by relatively unknown Scottish acts brought to you via Song By Toad Records.

To label the whole compilation as Lo-Fi is a massive discredit to the creativity found on this record. They do all share a certain Lo-Fi vibe however, so we'll run with that as the tagline. To add to that fuzzy broth, there're elements of punk, psychedelia and even some grunge too - enough for it not to sound monotonous without forcibly reaching out of its comfort zone. The mix is really well chosen; there isn't really a bad song on here. It's the sort of track-listing that XFM used to think it played. Partially frantic, but ultimately relaxed - perfectly scuzz, in fact. As a collective, this stridently shows that the Scottish music scene is alive and kicking like a spaniel with a bottle of bucky.

It's such a bland and potentially vulgar word to use but it's all very 'cool'. If I had a house and grew into the type to host house parties this is the sort of record I'd have on. The vocals merge into the music; it's rhythmic and compelling whilst being technically very sound where required too. I suppose it's just refreshing to hear lesser known acts that aren't someone trying to rap over an acoustic guitar really.

I didn't really want to focus attention on more tracks than others for fear of cascading more attention on some artists than others, but I feel justified in telling people a couple of stand out tracks. The concise purpose of the record was to showcase that Scotland has a lot going on under the radar. 'Rut' by Lush Purr is the opener and what immediately snatched my attention from the TV. It's very My Bloody Valentine b-side sounding. Haunting, dense with sound, and darkly melodic. Slowly driven distorted guitars power the song against the almost militant beat to create a really foreboding atmosphere. I can't really make out the lyrics properly but to be honest, you don't really need to. The closing track is my other choice. Pennycress - 'Stopped & Starred' is fairly rudimentary in its being; a catch riff laced with tuneful vocals. It'd be a floor-filler in a club with a sticky floor and a DJ with a beanie hat on. Only just over 2 minutes long, it's just about raucous enough for it to work.

Words of Jake Collins.

1. Lush Purr - Rut (Gavin Will)
2. Sean Armstrong - With the Shivering Trees
3. Breakfast Muff - Older Guy
4. Dune Witch Trails - Motorcade
5. Alansmithee - The Almighty Alan Smithee Blues
6. Youngstrr Joey - Michael (Cal Donnelly)
7. Spinning Coin - Late Late Late (Sean Armstrong)
8. Chump - Sleep In (Bedroom Demo) (Tara Hally)
9. Passion Pusher - Swamp Creature (James Gage)
10. Andrew R. Burns and The Tropicanas - Delaydeez (Andrew Burns)
11. Psychic Soviets - I Become a Feminist
12. Joyce Delaney - Don't Be an Asshole
13. Wendell Borton - Saucy
14. Froth - The Rat
15. Dearness - It's OK, You're Fine (Ryan Drever)
16. Pennycress - Stopped & Starred

Label Website:  Song By Toad Records