Various Artists – Location Is Everything Vol.2

A compilation is always a shaky thing. The sheer imagination it takes to gleefully match song to song to make a perfect mix is hard enough when you have volumes of material to use. It’s that much harder to put a compilation together with a limited source of music. Jade Tree’s Location is Everything Vol. 2 showcases the label’s newest acts as well as some returning veterans.

It begins with These Arms are Snakes’ “Riding The Grape Dragon,” which is filled with screamed yet muted vocals. The guitars seemed to perfectly complement each other during the bridge. The song goes on to set up the perfect beginning to a compilation that will give us music from all genres of life. It’s hard to think that in less then a few minutes we would be choking down Cex’s “Kill Me,” the compilation’s second track. I’ve heard this track before, and let it be known that hearing it on another disc doesn’t make it any better. The next two bands, Strike Anywhere and Statistics, are geared for the Warped Tour set. Not quite pop-punk, but not quite straight edged rock, these bands are walking a thin line between being taken seriously or being known as the next Yellowcard. The next few bands attempt to showcase the hardcore side of Jade Tree, but I find it extremely troubling that the recently defunct Denali is placed in between Paint It Black and From Ashes Rise–both of whom enlist the harsh vocals and tough music that is generally associated with hardcore.

One of the most compelling tracks comes from OneLineDrawing’s cover of Pedro the Lion’s “Rapture.” It’s a little less rock ‘n’ roll and more beat and dance ridden than the original, but it still holds the same emotional heft that David Bazan’s vocals employed. A lot of this compilation is an advertisement, but a good advertisement at that. It makes you forget that this record is just a tool Jade Tree is using to throw out their music to the masses and forces you to listen to what this label has to give to your indie rock laden ears.

(Jade Tree Records)