To mark their first decade, rather than just ‘looking back’, Platform Records is releasing a 15 track compilation album, entitled “This Is Not A Game” which includes artists and songs very recently signed to their label and publishing platform. If you don’t already own a compilation of underground indie pop and rock songs, this set is a good first album. There are many great songs to be found from artists like Late Hala, Warm Winters, Rayne, Ross Trigwell, Bobo & The Demeraras, Gregory Clark, Jon Vautier, George Diaz, Emporium, The Ultra, Indiana Foxx, James Blames, Voodoo Rays and Liquorice River.
What is rare for a compilation album containing so much material is that there is very little filler. This is an excellent introduction to the new wave of indie music. There is much to love here, great bands, lots of essentials and a mix of slower and faster songs.
Containing just under an hour of music, “This Is Not A Game” is sure to make you want to dig deeper into many of these bands’ catalogs. This album is beautifully turned-on, tuned-in and coming-up – the vibe it gives is a positive one and the trip the album takes you on takes you as high as the stars.
There is a tendency for highly original bands, to steadily refine their music, ironing out rough edges and (unfortunately) also losing some of their original character in the process of the growing careers. This results in a more bland, less harsh, less creative, more commercial sound, which is easier to listen to, and appeals to a much wider audience. But in the end, the process can refine out almost everything that made the band so special in the first place.
The smart thing about this collection is that none of these bands have completely reached that plateau yet, which makes it the perfect combination of originality, energy and accessibility. That seems to be reflected right across this album, from the surging opener “Late Hala – Good Thing” to “Rayne – Chemicals”, “Ross Trigwell – Safe Forever”, “Gregory Clark – The Home Song” and “Jon Vautier – Leave The City Dead”.
The slower tunes are also all very addictive, and will not get out of your head, including standouts “The Ultra – Universe In Two”, “George Diaz – Can’t Say” and “Emporium – Magical Things”. And if you like songs with a harder edge, check out doom punk band, The Buddha Pests with the track “Tanker”.
Whatever your tastes, you can get caught up in jangly-guitar or sprawling synth-driven tracks, as “This Is Not A Game” contains an abundance of both. Overall, the album offers a most appealing collection of songs. It thumps and grinds in swirl of rocking tunes. The beats, the hooks, the bass-line catches you from the beginning on a rip-roaring ride.
Lyrically this is an album filled with clever phrasing and the melodies take you into unexpected corners, and you won’t be able to get some of those dirty riffs out of your head either. Platform Records have put together a shining compilation of indie pop and rock songs that are meant to totally fill the room, as opposed to background songs on the radio.
“This Is Not A Game” is due for release in early 2017.