Over the past couple of years, the Rum Bar label has gone from strength to strength. True champions of the US underground rock scene, they’ve continued to promote old friends Watts and Tom Baker, but they’ve also brought listeners a whole world of new and often retro sounds along the way.
Their current sampler ‘XOXOXO Volume 1’ might just be their best freebie yet. It pulls together new material from Natalie Sweet (the glammy pop/rock of ‘Video Phone’ promises great things and supplies a massive bubblegum inflected earworm), cool and punky garage rock from Pale Lips and The Short Fuses, garage rock from French Girls and gritty, guitar driven chops from The Dents, bringing sounds straight from ’78, but beefed up with a more modern touch. As always with the label, there’s a wealth of superb power pop, too, with melodic bangers from Jenny Dee & The Delinquents, a choice cut from the excellent Shang Hi Los and a new-ish offering from Spanking Charlene.
In a surprising left turn for the label, you’ll even find a bit of country rock, courtesy of a great track from Kate Redgate. It’s not that Rum Bar is afraid of musical diversions, of course, since much earlier in their musical journey they delivered an excellent soul revue from Shanda & The Howlers. If you’ve forgotten about that, then this comp will happily remind you when turning back the clock and inviting you to turn up the volume for Shanda’s own ‘Trouble’s Out To Play’…
Natalie Sweet has called ‘XOXOXO Volume 1’ a “disc of rippers“. She’s not far wrong. With twenty four tracks and a good number of essentials, this is a download you can’t afford to miss.
Grab your download here: https://rumbarrecords.bandcamp.com/album/xoxoxo-volume-one-the-nice-price