A compilation of tracks by Cambridge-based bands old and new, curated by Ian Perry of Aaahh!!! Real Records, the aim being to help financially support much-loved pub and music venue The Portland Arms through these difficult times (see link below!).
1. The Portland Brothers – Invisible Love. Poignant, acoustic country-folk from a band named and formed after a meeting in the venue.
2. The Judge Reinholds – Stars and Satellites. Distant musings take their time to erupt into an impressive onslaught of spectacular noise.
3. Grieving – Bow and Arrow. Continuing the noisy theme and capturing their distinctive live sound, this restless rocker is punctuated by more contemplative interludes.
4. The Baby Seals – Vibrator. Contributing one of their supreme tracks, the mighty trio deliver a concise and singalong powerpop single.
5. Old Man Boom – No Longer Alone. As a contrasting backing to the affecting vocal, the waltzing banjo takes on a life of its own before the whole band crashes in.
6. Model Village – Eulogy. A wistful new track from the much-loved Cambridge collective. As always the voices, acoustic and electric instrumentation are an irresistible combination.
7. B-Sydes – Good Times. With a committed vocal performance pushed on by pure band energy, the track continues to build the momentum to the end.
8. Goldblume – Husk [Live]. One of the rock trio’s best tracks; complex, edgy and rewarding as it twists unpredictably.
9. Beverley Kills – Walk With Me. Blistering introduction, razor sharp sound, machine-gun drumming, strange abrupt middle eight and a vocal soaring above all. Unbeatable.
10. Freedom Faction – What’s it All About? According to their bio the band ‘… inject liquid punk directly into your brain via your earways…’ Agreed.
11. Heartwork – The Used. Roving softer-rock track, the complexity of the musical structure and a passionate vocal gradually pulls the listener in.
12. DoYouThinkHeSaurus? – Lipstick Teeth. Experimental punkish brooding guitar keeps you guessing until the chorus hits home.
13. Mammoth Penguins – Dick Move. Taken from their brilliant 2019 album, the trio deliver a short, precise slice of emotional angst. Powerful, catchy and possibly my favourite on this collection.
14. Just Tom & Pete – Sweet Ass Voice. A gentle meandering with spoken word, acoustic guitar and a winning emotional intimacy from this unassuming duo.
15. The Pony Collaboration – Close Enough. Last seen in Cambridge supporting The Wave Pictures, this easy-going ensemble were a real treat to hear, with tracks that roll along like this pop-perfect meditation.
16. The Travis Waltons – Year of the Snake. With a third album due out soon, the trio remind us how well they can structure a single as the distorted guitar riff and the emotional disappointment in the voice drive towards a chorus line that will stick in your brain.
17. The Grey – Silent Man. Dense layers of guitar and drums introduce this rock epic, the trio make no compromises and take their time delivering this doom-laden but thoughtful anthemic finale.