Various Artists – Broadcast International

An interesting compilation that exhibits a worldly clash of sub genres, Broadcast International is composed of six artists from the United States, France and Germany. While all are, in one form or another, derivative of the indie/rock sound, one artist stands clear above the other five. Like the hallowed sounds of cathedrals, the opening two musical tracks (after a short intro track) encompass entire spectrums of sound and emotion. 

This aforementioned artist goes by the moniker A Perfect Kiss and no one adjective is closer to describing their input into this mix than ‘perfect’. Wavering in and out of audio consciousness, in the trantic sounding “In Spite Of My Angel”, the band gels mixed tempos and volumes that are layered with feverish vocals and pounding instrumental work. It’s loud, yet distinctly more melodic successor, “Angels” is a testament to the band’s ability to combine elements of despair and optimism in one crashing sound. Their work with synthesizers is what exudes that cathedral feeling; hallow and intrinsically beautiful. Their eerie blend of post punk, indie rock and hardcore is really the selling point of this disc, as the other artists struggle to live up to the opening act.

However, while what follows is certainly weaker, it by no means is poor when standing on its own. Maria Blonde are the act to follow, and do a reasonable job. They hail from France and on a less frantic pace, are similar to A Perfect Kiss. While they lean more towards the subtle brand of indie-core, their vocals leave a lot to be desired. This reviewer has always said that artists whose primary language isn’t English should learn to rock in their native tongue before attempting to conquer the Oxford dictionary. Maria Blonde does however; add a little Spanish flavor with interesting Acapella sounding guitar work. 

Alien 101, from Germany are next and bring some straightforward rock influenced punk; no frills and simply melodic. Both May Sixteen and To What End are like A Perfect Kiss’ younger, less talented brother. Banking on soaring vocals and driving instrumental force, they both inch close to what the first act accomplished but still lack that certain edge; To What End do however close strong.

This disc is certainly worth another listen. Think of it as that old high school “Battle of the Bands” where the first act is simply better than the rest of the roster. Credit Point Five Limey for collecting a compilation that seems to be more interested in sharing and spreading competent music, rather than trying to shift units. If you are on the fence and unsure, purchase this disc for the two bands that bookend this release.

(Point Five Limey Records)