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Boomkat Product Review:
This freakishly good compilation is a twenty-five song, double CD collection of new and previously unreleased material by bands who've recorded at Brooklyn's renowned Rare Book Room studios - the recording venue of choice for countless right-on bands from NYC and beyond. Take a quick glance across the tracklist and you'll notice Deerhunter, Silver Jews, Avey Tare, Fischerspooner and Samara Lubelski - the latter being a resident engineer at the Rare Book Room. Early on in disc one, up-and-comers Telepathe make a big impression, sounding like a pretty hot ticket for the future thanks to their experimental pop opus 'I Can't Stand It'. Soon after, Black Dice's 'Pigpen' arrives to rough up your ears, followed immediately by a far more dignified contribution from Tara Jane O'Neil, whose 'Sunday Song' floats atop a bed of glistening tremolo guitar, segueing seamlessly into Lubelski's baroque pop ditty 'Ego Blossoms'. The Silver Jews track, 'Self Ignition' is the only recording here that wasn't made specifically for this compilation, and was instead laid down around the same time as American Water in 1998. Strictly speaking this isn't a 'previously unreleased' song at all: it did in fact see a release in the UK as a B-side for the Send In The Clouds 7". In any case, its inclusion is most welcome - it's far and away one of the standouts. A highlight of the second disc is 'Darker Still' by Sam Jayne & The Simpson Sound System. Jayne, mainman in Sub Pop's magnificent Love As Laughter, fashions a supremely articulate piece of rock & roll gloom that at once sounds like Crazy Horse or even Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers in bluesy slow jam mode. Also worth mentioning is the Deerhunter entry 'After Class' which supplies yet another permutation of the band's unique sound. Highly recommended.