Various Artists - ‘Roaring South’ (Self Released) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Johnny H   
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 03:40

Roaring SouthIf Gene Simmons ever needed proof that rock is most certainly not dead in 2014 then he need look no further than this self released 12 track compilation featuring punk/rock/hardcore music from Cornwall, Devon, Bristol and London. Okay it might not be old pube hair’s idea of rock, but all bands have to start somewhere and where better to get yourself heard by a much wider audience than a compilation record featuring some of the newest and most exciting music you’ll hear anywhere right now.


The brainchild of one Elliot Phillips, son of Cheap Sweaty Fun’s head honcho Simon Phillips, ‘Roaring South’ is actually the final major project for his BA (Hons) degree in Graphic Design at Plymouth College Of Art as every album comes with a hand printed cover, A2 poster as well as a lyric book featuring an illustration for each band. Elliot is also donating any profit made after covering costs being donated to Path, a local homelessness charity, so that’s a double thumbs up from Uber Rock.


So, what about the music. Well the great news is that with the variety of bands on offer there’s pretty much something for everyone contained within the grooves of ‘Roaring South’ and I personally don’t have to look to far for my fave new band as Plymouth’s The Blowouts open the record and immediately hit me straight between the eyes with their knockout Mansun meets The Cure brand pop punk. However what that then means is that following these boys the likes of BRUNEL, Crows-An-Wra, The Jerks and Silent Front then all tend to sound like groups that Elliot’s father would have put on during his CSF heyday, which whilst there is nothing wrong with that in principle, but it means that one track just isn’t enough to fully appreciate what the hell is going on within the walls of guitar noise they magic up.


Things get slightly less frantic with Plymouth’s Guns Under The Table and ‘Boot Boy’ which the band call tempo changing heavy riffing fusion ragga rock. I’d actually call it a fantastic fuzzed out flat out fucked up slab of Sub Pop. But what do I know, eh?


Also hailing from Plymouth (bloody hell what are they putting in the water down there these days?) are the Woahnows, who along with their neighbours The Blowouts are hitting the pop punk market seemingly at the right time just as some of the UK scene’s elder statesmen are bowing out. Whether ‘Watching Accidents’ is the song to elevate them to major label status remains to be seem, but it certainly packs one hell of a punch that’s for sure.


A band who have already achieved that step up are Milk Teeth (having signed to Venn Records) and their ‘Wizard Battle’ whilst alluding to being a bit of a prog epic is actually anything but. The hard gigging quartet from Bristol have a huge arena sound crammed into a transit van coming to a town near you very soon, and whilst it’s not my fave tune on ‘Roaring South’ it’s one that shows huge potential.


The just shy of two minute punk brutality of ‘Oak Ridge’ is up next, and whilst I’ve heard loads of great things about Boxkite this recording doesn’t quite hit the levels of excitement I was expecting. Apparently the Plymouth quartet are ferocious live (just like an early Gallows) so I’ll just have to wait until I witness them in the flesh before I decide if the hype is in fact warranted.


‘Movements’ the angsty contribution from Patrons isn’t really my cup of tea either to be honest but it’s something I know will have a large crossover potential given the right exposure, something that can also be said for ‘Seatlicker’ by USA Nails, which somehow manages to make me wonder what Drive Like Jehu covering Billy Idol might sound like. Sonically this is probably the closest you’ll ever get to this actually happening too.


So after that feral workout the only way for ‘Roaring South’ to say goodbye is via Head Of Programmes who despite their Black Metal band logo are actually more akin to Joy Division playing Country and Western Music.


Confused? Well you won’t be if you pick up a copy of ‘Roaring South’ via the link below. It’s worth every bloody penny too as it helps recall an era when distributors like Southern, and Cartel were putting out compilations like this almost on a weekly basis here in the UK. So if you want the best, you get the best, via the hottest compilation album in the UK, ‘Roaring South’.