Next in our series of totally free, no strings attached and no questions asked downloadable compilations, Nothing But Hope and Passion is proud to stress out your eardrums and bring that heart pounding sound that falls under the giant umbrella of “garage rock.” Now, before we get into one of those ridiculously pointless discussions about what is/isn’t a certain genre, just keep in mind this compilation was curated with the idea of “garage” and “lo-fi” being synonymous. If it has feedback (Headache by METZ), if it features plenty of distortion (Pretentious Fuck by FRIGHT EYE if you can’t make out the vocals (Digsaw by THE WYTCHES), if the song fills you with a sense of urgency and unresolved pain (C’mon Stimmung by NO AGE): then we chose it. “Rock” has splintered into so many factions and sub factions (oh, THE FACTION: consider them the spiritual influence for this) that putting things into categories is inane and pointless. Here’s what we found and what we think is good. Full stop.
Lo-fi (the short version of low-fidelity) does not mean lower quality. Great songs have been recorded on whatever equipment was around, and part of the beauty of the songs is the unfinished and imperfect nature of the recording. At a time when music is becoming soullessly gridded out and sterile thanks to easily available tools, garage and lo-fi can be a refreshing change. Think guitars (Teradactol by BIG DEAL), think drums, and think repetitive lyrics that come across like an accusation.
PEA SEA tells us a historical story in Mixing up the Cordite, off his recent release The Debatable Land, released via UK label Sea Records. He sounds like (SMOG) and the SILVER JEWS but brought into the modern age. Counterbalance that with the almost electro-pop rock of CANDY SAYS with Kiss Kill. FIELD MOUSE are taking us back to the nineties with sounds that reference DINOSAUR JR, PAVEMENT and LIZ PHAIR. Straight out of Aarhus, Denmark, FRIGHT EYE starts their exclusive-for-NBHAP rocker Pretentious Fuck with a movie sample, before the song launches into a full on attack: frenetic drums create a an early eighties style punk sound. Pompous people take note, you have been warned: FRIGHT EYE is watching you, and they are taking names. Canadian trio METZ veers into hardcore, with Headache. The song from NO AGE begins with a wandering keyboard that’s light enough to fool you, before it devolves into vocals that sound like BLACK SABBATH-era Ozzy.
Two representatives from Brooklyn round out our sampler: Taste the Diff by OBITS (that’s shorthand for obituary) and one of our finds from Berlin Music Week, PARQUET COURTS Caster of Worthless Spells. Local Berlin boys SNØFFELTØFFS sing garage about girls, our favorite timeless topic. Leeds, UK based CHINA RATS keep it traditional with a straight UNDERTONES type sound with Deadbeat.
The thing with garage rock (and rock in general) is it’s supposed to be confrontational. It’s not supposed to be gentle and soothing. So put this one whenever you need to bring up your blood pressure and kick your internal systems up several notches. This compilation goes to 11.
cover photo by Melanie Brauser, artwork by aorta loves you