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Rough Trade Shops Counter Culture 2006

Rough Trade Shops: Counter Culture 06

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

THE Rough Trade label continues to provide an invaluable springboard for countless bands – some of whom have gone on to become household names.

Past successes have included the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Kills, The Earlies, Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party, while this year it’s the likes of Lily Allen and Peter Bjorn and John who have impressed.

The annual Counter Culture double CD provides listeners with a veritable treasure trove of gems – some well known, others just waiting to be discovered.

Across some 48 tracks, there’s plenty to admire and to expand your music knowledge.

Some of the highlights speak for themselves. Lily Allen’s breezy LDN being a firm favourite that was quickly embraced by the record-buying public.

And Peter Bjorn and John’s hopelessly catchy Young Folks, which was one of the acoustic guitar tracks of the year – its catchy melodies and easygoing style exemplified by the hopelessly irresistible whistle that accompanies the start of the track.

Elsewhere, Scritti Politti’s The Boom Boom Bap serves to remind people of one of the most unlikeliest comebacks of 2006, while The Gossip’s Standing In The Way Of Control is sure to enjoy a revival given its placement on the advertising campaign for E4’s new programme Skins.

It was always a lively track but it’s recent TV airing is sure to win it an ever wider following.

The best thing about Counter Culture collections, however, is the way they succeed in making listeners aware of some of the other great bands knocking about the Rough Trade label.

We’re talking about the likes of Oneida’s fanatastically off-kilter History’s Great Navigators, with its warped central riff and energetic beat, or Treecreeper’s cracking guitar anthem Debris.

Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan crop up with the deliciously smooth The False Husband, and the oddly named Monkey Swallows The Universe deliver the achingly bittersweet Science, which boasts some enchanting female vocals, a subtle back-beat and some fine violin and strings.

Richard Swift’s Paisley Park is another track to look out for, as are the hotly-tipped Cold War Kids with We Used To Vacation – a useful indication of why they look certain to be one of the breakthrough acts of 2007 for the Rough Trade label.

We could go on but we reckon you should take the risk and delve in. We can’t guarantee you’ll like every track – and there are certainly some average ones among them – but it’s an eye-opening compilation that continues to be one of the must-have purchases for lovers of new music. 2006’s collection is no exception.

Track listing:

  1. Home-Various Productions
  2. Caroline-The Last Town Chorus
  3. The False Husband-Isobel Campbell And Mark Lanegan
  4. Postcards From Italy-Beirut
  5. LDN-Lily Allen
  6. Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken-Camera Obscura
  7. Young Folks-Peter Bjorn And John
  8. Bones Of A Thousand Suns-Hush Arbors
  9. Science-Monkey Swallows The Universe
  10. Paisley Park-Richard Swift
  11. Sometimes I Don’t Get You-Yo La Tengo
  12. Debris-Treecreeper
  13. We Used To Vacation-Cold War Kids
  14. Six String Layabout-The Morrison Steam Fayre
  15. History’s Great Navigators – Oneida
  16. Footsteps – Bricolage
  17. C’mon Up – New Moscow
  18. Cowbell-Tapes ‘n Tapes
  19. Fire Eye’d Boy-Broken Social Scene
  20. I’m Not Used To You-Winterkids # Lock Up Your Daughters-Ripchord
  21. Heineken-Mike Sammes

Disc Two

  1. Nightbus-Burial
  2. ax Mr. L.-Alva Noto And Ryuichi Sakamoto
  3. The Boom Boom Bap – Scritti Politti
  4. Pop The Glock-Uffie
  5. Miniaturu De Lulu-Ladybug Feat. Dieze Tigrana
  6. Air War-Crystal Castles
  7. Freejazz-Envelopes
  8. Alala-CSS
  9. You Could Easily Have Me-Metronomy
  10. My Favourite Hat-Xerox Teens
  11. Trip To The Golden Arches-Bromheads Jacket
  12. Japanese Punk-The Rotters
  13. Preamble – Great Divine Rector’s Call-The Sounds Of American Doomsday Cults
  14. Strong Arms-T.I.T.S.
  15. Standing In The Way Of Control-Gossip
  16. Dudefuk-Pre
  17. Another Genius Idea From Our Government-Erase Errata
  18. Get Me A Mirror-Bonnie Camplin
  20. Lake Of Roaches-Wolf Eyes
  21. Zeni Zeni-Nagisa Yoko And Justin Simon
  22. Orville’s Engastrimythic Divinations-Andrew Liles
  23. Rykketid-Trentemoller
  24. The Rough Trade Song-The Disco Students