Various Artists – Pop Scenes From Perth

On their own Zip offers this sampling — 11 bands — from the environs around their Australian office, the very warm (all right, let’s just say it, “it gets damn hot there”) coastal city of Perth (actually they’re based out in the suburb of Leederville).

The accompanying booklet has various tourist board photos mixed in to entice you to journey to the edge of the Indian Ocean if the pop bands won’t do it on their own, but the track annotations are a bit weak.

As with the above some of these songs have appeared on individual records, a few released by Zip themselves (Chevelles, Showbag! & Superscope, with Jack & the Beanstalk having had a relationship with a predecessor company — see previous issues), and a few of these bands also appeared on the above set.

Like Spencer Tracy, whose contribution here, Ocean, has another sweet, bouncy chorus though this time with verses with a little more growl (a bit of Social Distortion, or much less pretentious Oarses) over their revved rock. Leading off this set is the peculiarly named Ikey Mo who also partake of the Modern-Rock toolbox for their coursing, fuzzy, bouncy ode to Evil Kneivel keyed by some snappy handclaps.

Jack & the Beanstalk’s pithy, Pop-Rock tale She Does The Handclaps works a little hard to get actual handclaps in there. While Team Jedi’s striving rocker Only If You Wanna fits in an army of handclaps in the break and a throwback lead guitar sound (somewhere around the mid-‘70s, with a Wishniaksian tonic) in the odd spot as it revolves from sparse to full.

Autopilot (who appeared on the first L.W. volume) offers another sweet, light as a Spring breeze tune, the under 2 ½ minute I Love Thought. A three-piece with high, androgynous harmonies (think of a closet full of Quercios) that are carried by a gently picked acoustic guitar and its peppy, driving rhythm, with coloring by a barely noticeable organ, the big electric guitar solo and a bit of shimmering tambourine.

Everyone in, the water’s just right!

[Released by Zip 2003]

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