Various Artists

Solid PR Presents Vol. 1: A Benefit for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Comp

(On The Rise Records; 2005)

By Aaron Newell | 20 October 2005

Sometimes CMG gets press releases like this:

Dear Chet Betz Arron cokemachineglwoc.com we have valuable resources available, please post this stream of the new indie rock phenom the Dirty Home Carers’ 30-second toilet paper commercial and let us know if you would like a copy of a cd of snippets from their awesome new album to giveaway or review and please let us know if you have any coverage planned for these guys on tinymixtapes asap! We think your site is great! They are huge in (insert demographic) The UK.

Solid PR’s Derek Meier does not operate this way. Derek is 100% caffeinated and may or may not have ADD, which qualities combine to at least give the appearance that he loves his job (which constitutes promoting bands on Ace-Fu, Alien8, Kanine…). Part of the love recently involved collaborating with his extensive clientele to compile Solid PR Presents Volume 1, a 33-track, Screamo-to-Backpack-Rap double-disc package chocked with eccentric weirdo bands of which other PR co’s could (quite reasonably) be a little too terrified to promote.

The so what: songs were donated by bands like Man Man (scary), the Unicorns (eerie), Mixel Pixel (creepy), and Lewis and Clarke (friendly) to put together Solid PR Presents as a benefit disc for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society which, unlike many other charitable foundations, actually exists.

Do you like Man Man’s apologetic love song “10 lb Moustache” with its Fiddler-in-the-mud arrangement and salty lyrics (“people say you’re wild / you’ve been christened a feral child / you need pornography to help you sleep at night…”)? Or do you prefer the slick, plaintive, Constantines-meets-Maroon 5 (that’s right) proggish pop-rock of the Crystal Skulls’ “No Room for Change”? Maybe you’ve been wondering about what our beloved Greenwald meant when he described Lewis and Clarke’s “Dead and Gone” as a self-directed “vocal call-and-response,” and a “solo duet” with “briskly strummed chords that are just a whole step away from Elliott Smith’s ‘Angeles’.” Solid PR Presents flaunts these and other flashy pop aberrancies in loot-bag fashion, to varying success. While it may be tough to find a place in one’s heart for the punk-wavey Mommy and Daddy, Subtitle’s free-association on “Subtalk” serves as a great first-step to the sometimes-Islands collaborator’s varied body of work (Subtitle has been linked to Project Blowed, Anticon, Shapeshifters, and now what’s left of The Unicorns).

Full disclosure: the comp isn’t always palatable to the indie rock trado’s tastes (there’s a not-insignificant amount of thrashy throat strainery, the most interesting of which is The Great Redneck Hope’s “PSST! Hey, the Lord is Awesome, Pass it On”). But if you’re looking for a cheaper way to sample some of the weirder aspects of today’s alternative pop while adding to your tax write-off receipt collection, Solid PR Presents meets both ends. Plus I hear that once this thing sells out, Derek’s next project is to get that fantastic Oxford Collapse record some decent Canadian distro, but that’s my own charitable cause.