Follow Us on Twitter

Rough Trade Shops - Counter Culture 07

Rough Trade Shops: Counter Culture 07

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

ANOTHER year, another Counter Culture selection from Rough Trade Shops. Previous year’s have given us the likes of Peter Bjorn and John’s The Young Folks and Brakes’ Heard About Your Band.

2007’s selections include such choice cuts as Dan le Sac Versus Scroobius Pip’s Thou Shalt Always Kill and The Woods’ Be Still among its essential choices.

But the compilation is a little less satisfying this year and the highlights fewer and farer in between.

After previous excursions with Mute and V2, Rough Trade Shops has compiled this compilation independently and, from the ground up, this fact is reflected in the selection policy, as there’s an almost entirely new cast of suspects on this mix-tape bidding to grab your attention.

There’s also a wider variety of styles on offer, some of which is dance friendly, others that are more trademark indie and punk.

As mentioned, the leftfield dance of Dan le Sac Versus Scroobius Pip provides an obvious highlight with its warped energy and cheeky lyrics, while The Woods’ tranquil Be Still is a laidback, psychedelic favourite that’s great for the Sunday afternoon chill.

Of Montreal’s bass-heavy strut Gronlandic Edit is pretty cool without really trying, especially thanks to the odd stab of synth, while there’s a ragged, punky quality about Pete & The Pirates’ Come On Feet which could well be adopted by an advertising campaign in the not too distant future (Nike, are you listening?).

I was also kind of partial to Julian Cope’s mostly spoken-word Soon To Forget Ya, which eventually unfolds into a bit of a classic, while the intriguingly named The Manhattan Love Suicides’ You’ll Never Get That Guy lived up to the intrigue and are clearly well worth investigating more (think Jesus & Mary Chain)!

And Glasvegas’ Daddy’s Gone is also worth a listen, especially in light of the striking vocals.

But some of the selections are a real turn off, such as John Maus’ Rights For Gays, Peggy Sue & The Pirates’ Television and Let’s Wrestle’s I Want To Be In Husker Du.

So, while Rough Trade’s decision to go independent has probably helped a lot more bands stand a chance of getting noticed by fans of the Counter Culture series, it could also dissuade people a lot more quickly. It’s an interesting listen, yes, but it’s also less approachable and much less likeable in the final analysis.

Download picks: You’ll Never Get That Guy, Be Still, Thou Shalt Always Kill, Gronlandic Edit

Track listing:
Disc 1

  1. Be Still – Woods
  2. Dear Companion – Meg Baird
  3. Pirate’s Gospel – Alela Diane
  4. Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa – Vampire Weekend
  5. Take My Hand – Jennifer Gentle
  6. Revival – Soulsavers
  7. Losin’ Time – Wooden Shjips
  8. Good Girl [edit] – Panda Bear
  9. Maybe Lately – Miracle Fortress
  10. Ghost Of Old Bull Lee – Arthur & Yu
  11. Daddy’s Gone – Glasvegas
  12. You’ll Never Get That Guy – Manhattan Love Suicides
  13. Mirror Rim – Effi Briest
  14. Television – Peggy Sue & The Pirates
  15. I Want To Be In Husker Du – Let’s Wrestle
  16. Systematic Death – Jeffrey Lewis
  17. Big Gold Dream – Fire Engines
  18. Come On Feet – Pete & The Pirates
  19. Royal Gregory – Holy Fuck
  20. Everyone Wants To Lose Control – Tranzmitors
  21. Kevin – Battant

Disc 2

  1. 8.8 – Supersilent
  2. Unitive Knowledge Of The Godhead – Om
  3. Everybody’s Down – No Age
  4. Atlas [radio edit] – Battles (The)
  5. Jogging Song (He’s Your Mr Right) – Mika Miko
  6. Body Rot – Magik Markers
  7. VTR – Andrew Liles
  8. Police Story – Dirty Projectors
  9. Rights For Gays – John Maus
  10. Gronlandic Edit – Of Montreal
  11. Thou Shalt Always Kill – Dan Le Sac & Scroobius Pip
  12. Fledermaus Can’t Get It – Von Sudenfed
  13. Crystal Cat – Dan Deacon
  14. Facts About Tarzan – Estus Pirkle
  15. Tuinslangboogie (Faded) – Frank Hebly
  16. DANCE – Justice
  17. Car Bomb – 180 Gs
  18. Soon To Forget Ya – Julian Cope
  19. My Pussy – Comanichi
  20. Year Of The Pig [edit] – Fucked Up