Various Artists - Suburban Home Records: I Celebrate Their Entire Collection
Record Label: Suburban Home Records
Release Date: April 2008
Suburban Home Records, which is based in Denver, Colorado, has made it a policy to include a compilation disc of their latest artists as a complementary gift inside each of the label’s new releases. Their latest compilation is entitled Suburban Home Records: I Celebrate Their Entire Collection, and it prominently features Drag the River, a local folk band from Colorado, along with songs from Scott Reynolds and the Steaming Beast, Love Me Destroyer, Playing Favorites, Buffalo Ghost, On High, LaGrecia, Tim Barry, Armchair Martian, Jr. Juggernaut, Josh Small, Jon Snodgrass, Two Cow Garage, and The Revenge. Suburban Home's catalog shows a wide range of music styles from old time country reminiscent of Patrick Park to hardcore/metal frequencies relatable to Ozzy Osbourne. The compilation disc profiles several distinguishable lead singers and creates moods that move from being festive, somber, and introspective to being down right combative at times. Suburban Home’s artists don’t fit neatly within one music genre; instead the label has its fingers in many different styles, bringing everybody under one roof.
The label’s scope of country western tunage feels genuinely bred and sampled in tracks like “Rangement” by Drag the River, “Shoulda Oughta” by solo artist Tim Barry, and “Angel,” a soothing melody from Scott Reynolds. The gospel like hollers in the chorus of “Shoulda Oughta“ are shrouded in bluegrass hues and have an old time country metronome with a deep Americana lilt. The compilation carries on with folk rock shadings in songs like “Death of the Life of the Party” by Drag the River, “You Like Baseball You Like Ghosts” which showcases the raspy vocal registers of LaGrecia, and “Brave with Strangers” performed live by Drag the River’s Jon Snodgrass on acoustic guitar and singing the tune like he was bottle fed on its country folk chord rings. The compilation carts into some gritty blues rock wiring in “Come Down” which is helmed by the moaning voicing of Jon Small, and “The Great Gravitron Massacre” which has a more mellow swampy blues rock cadence performed by Two Cow Garage.
With that said, Suburban Home also marks up the compilation with hardcore/metal enamel showing ferocious guitar riffs akin to As I Lay Dying and meaty rhythmic strikes that are common ground for Ozzy. The screamo vocals of The Revenge’s lead vocalist T-bone are fused by the metalcore rock mixture of “Fine Bottle of Some…,” and Love Me Destroyer‘s track “Not if You Were The Last Sinner on Earth” is fired up by the taut-idling engines of the guitars. The hard rock power chords of Jr. Juggernaut‘s “Coming in Backwards” and Armchair Martian‘s “Re-Routed” deliver pulverizing guitar slides, as the metal frequencies of On High‘s “Pain You” coalesce combative drum strikes with seething guitars and bestial vocals. The compilation reduces the temperature to a pop/rock modulation with the dance folk jumps of Scott Reynolds and the Steaming Beast‘s “None of This is Funny,” which exhibit a touch of Cajun/soul in the band’s rhythmic flips. The upbeat tempo and percussive movements of Playing Favorites track “Indigenous” has a complexion relatable to the solo work of The Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond, Jr., and the satiny wavelengths of “The Latest Wonder” create a complementing roost for the femininely sweet vocals of Ghost Buffalo‘s lead vocalist Marie Litton.
Suburban Home Records' compilation disc is a melting pot of country, folk, Cajun, bluegrass, rock, blues, metal, and probably many other factions that escaped me. The music has influences that come from one end of America and cut straight through the midsection right to the other side. The album is a palette of American made music bringing out a multi-textured rainbow of styles conveying a vivid spectrum of colors made into music.