Various Artists – Scottish Indie Sampler Vol.3 [GoldMold]

GoldMold’s Indie Samplersseek and draw some of the nation’s best DIY talents together and give them an audience.

Pooling from a collection of different independent labels each time, the results are unfailingly eclectic and inventive.

The third entry is no exception.

This time drawing on talents provided by LP Records, winning sperm party, Lost Map, Olive Grove Records and OVA MATA, Scottish Indie Sampler Vol.3as a whole is wildly experimental, adventurous and ambitious.

Not everything works but not everything should, and the best cuts off GoldMold’s latest showcase are genuinely mesmerising.

Featuring talent from a wide spectrum of genres ordered by label rather than curated by sound, but there is a definite electronic zone somewhere in the middle, with tracks 8 to 11 following the same futuristic thread.

It begins with the hazy, white noise infested weirdness of Tulip Tulen’s ‘Superman’ before moving into the otherworldly, arcade game sounds of Tenhead’s ‘Teeca’.

The pick of the bunch, though, is undoubtedly Firestations’ ‘Build a Building’, which offers a slower, lyrical musing on the state of things backed by an eerie handclap chorus.

Sitting separate on the tracklist, Banana Oil’s ‘Zephyr Song’ and George Bruce’s ‘Blue Night’ are cut from the same jazz cloth: the former offering a sultry mix of horns, smoky bass and rapid snare drums, while the latter opts for a quieter, more stripped back piano bar riff dripping with melancholy and moonlight.

The undeniable outlier even on such a varied record is Kabobo’s ‘Dis is Sheet’, which begins like an answer to the question “What if your parents were right when they said all your music was just shouting?” and eventually descends into a heavy metal interpretation of The Simpson’s “annoyed grunt” instruction.

Over on the indie/alt-rock side of things Sulka merge a rough guitar-drum combo with sweet, far-off vocals for ‘No One’, while In Posterface offer the excellent, Pixies-influenced ‘It’s Terminal’.

Pocket Knife’s impossibly charming, sun-dappled ‘Fish Song’ plays offbeat lyrics in sugary sweet, lullabyish tones to create a musical equivalent to the visual style of a Wes Anderson movie.

The trio provided by LP Records provide a powerful close with The Great Albatross’ rustic ’20 Years of Slumber’ and American Clay’s ‘Second Son’, the latter offering an excellent display of the Scottish voice’s signature ability to dive between high-pitched highland yelps and guttural low growls.

Rounded out by Codist’s ‘Shaky Cam’, it begins with talk-through vocals over a lilting guitar and sounds like sinking half-defeated into bed at the end of a hard day. As the drums begin to rumble in and the guitars start to shred and shriek, the song snarls triumphantly out of its malaise.

It difficult to sum up a record composed of such disparate parts.

It contains the good, the bad and the ugly of Scotland’s independent scene and a number of tracks which could be aptly described as at least two out of the three.

The takeaway is a handful of new bands to follow and an increased respect for the quality of the country’s DIY musicians.

As far as GoldMold goes, that’s got to be mission accomplished.

Scottish Indie Sampler Vol. 3 by Gold Mold Records

Words: Ross McIndoe


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