Reviewing a CD sampler is a task much better reserved for the last-picked kid in gym class. It has little to do with prepubescent awkwardness and more to do with the tedium of addressing each artist. But when you have a twenty-one song buffet of bands that delivers the backing muscle to one of the most respected indie-rock labels out there, being the zit-faced, pear-shaped loser isn't so bad. In fact, it's good.
For the past decade, Delaware-based Jade Tree has been putting out some of the finest music from various underground talents around the Northeast. The independent and consistently diverse label is most notable for its attachment to such big names as the Promise Ring and Jets to Brazil. And as Jade Tree's fifteen-year legacy continues to grow, its strength is represented by Location Is Everything, Vol. 2.
The sampler -- the follow-up to 2002's Location is Everything, Vol. 1 -- offers a little something for everyone. While grouping together some of the Tree family's most musically diverse bands, the label has compiled a surprisingly easy to listen to disc. Singles from O.G. art rockers Joan of Arc, hardcore rock fusionists Challenger, and the prettiest angry band Jets to Brazil make this sampler a keeper.
Location Is Everything, Vol. 2 also features bonus tracks of unreleased, demo and live stuff from Pedro the Lion, From Ashes Rise, Paint It Black, Cex, Onelinedrawing and Statistics. Cex's unreleased "Cut Wrists" and Pedro the Lion's unreleased demo version of "I Do" alone make this thing worth checking out.
It's been years since I've attended a "class." But lucky for me, my baby fat has resurfaced as a shapely hair-covered tummy. Earlier this week my face broke out with discolored, achy whiteheads. I have been masturbating so frequently that I have installed windshield wipers on my computer screen. Old, but still awkward, I guess it's fitting that I reviewed this thing. But whether you're the four-eyed science-fair victor or the strong-armed wrestling captain, take a crack at Jade Tree's balanced collection on Location Is Everything, Vol. 2.
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