Cooking By Strobe Light

Kvrx Local Live Volume One


The idea of compiling a discful of local talent floated around the KTSB/KVRX ether for years before becoming a reality with 1994's Fallout: A Radioactive Compilation. While that project did manage to overcome UT's stifling administrative haggles, poor sound quality and uneven performances marred the final product. Fortunately, Cooking by Strobe Light... is compelling evidence of lessons learned from past missteps. The eclectic lineup of 18 artists recorded live on the air covers quite a bit of ground. National acts like Foreskin 500 and Lutefisk dot the landscape, but the superlative performances come largely from Austin bands. The Motards' "Self Destructive" satisfies like some dusty old track from an Eighties hardcore sampler, while The 1-4-5's "The Eyes of Texas" plays the goofball side of that same card. Suddenly, 7% Solution ("Threshold") shows up to blow your mind in a manner that evokes Tangerine Dream with guitars, but without the god complex. Then Brown Hornet ("Mr. Unicorn") tackles balladry from their own parallel dada and scat-ridden universe. Drums & Tuba bring you angular punk with a head full of Meters on "Lots of Luc," and the Golden Arm Trio evokes drama and tragedy with the film score-worthy piano/double bass composition "More Sad People." Finally, Silver Scooter cleans up with "Hearts and Skies," a sparkling, driving piece of perfect collegiate pop. For consistency, variety and an amazingly low price, Cooking by Strobe Light... is far and away the most fufilling local compilation in recent memory.
3.5 stars -- Greg Beets

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