God-Stripe Gum

God-Stripe Gum (Animatronic)

Record Reviews

God-Stripe Gum (Animatronic)

Whaddya want for nothin'? If you answered, "a solid-state compilation CD of local pop-rock talent," today is your lucky day. Acknowledging the faint odds of ever turning a profit on such a venture, Craig Montoro's Animatronic label chose to release God-Stripe Gum on a strictly promotional basis. That means you can get a free copy simply by buttonholing any member of the 10 acts featured and asking for one. It's a sweet deal, made even sweeter by the album's overall pop-punk flavor. Kissinger contributes "Consider Bridgette" and "Urbia," two sneering nuggets of hold-and-release power-pop that would sound ideal as summer radio staples during your next beach party weekend. Montoro's own Ringer shines on the wistful "Oxen," an All-inspired trip down Unrequited Lover's Lane, while PlayDoh Squad throws in a super tough lilt-and-belt workout on "The Palace." The New Wave leanings of Coco Candissi's "Sweet Cheat Gone" and the jambox-in-the-garage tone of Hotwheels Jr.'s "Walk the Line" make both extremely viable candidates for mix tape enshrining. God-Stripe Gum also offers a few flavors you might not expect, such as Ten Speed's roots-flavored civic boosterism on "A-Town" and Erik the Butcher's sparse, bass-and-vocals free association game on "Rock & Roll Hissy Fit." Taken together with the homemade aspirations to psychedelic masterpieces of Bo Bud Greene and Halley, these outlying sounds give the album a charming, pell-mell sense of variety. You can't really call God-Stripe Gum representative of any given scene in Austin, but perhaps this could lead to more commingling and less rigidity among its subgenres of bands and fans. After all, isn't that what bein' free is all about?

***

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