July 11, 2022

A Cheery Wave From Stranded Youngsters: Volume XI

For anyone who wants to know what it is going on in the post-rock underground, the long running A Cheery Wave From Stranded Youngsters series curated by the folks at UK label A Cheery Wave Records is indispensable. Each release is like a crash course to get up to date. The new Volume XI is a sprawling collection, a double album that takes more than two hours to fully digest. The guitar is king in post-rock circles, but there is plenty of room for other instruments to make their mark, with keyboards leading the charge as the second most popular lead instrument. With collections like these, a well-thought running order is key to the enjoyment of the listening experience and with the subtle tempo shifts and used textures some of the segues are almost seamless, especially on the first CD.

First of all, let's make it clear that there are no weak spots or filler tracks on this collection, but when push comes to shove, start with these tracks. English one-man band The Bridesmaid kicks off with the dense Oates from his long out-of-print Grayson EP. Clawson, Michigan based quintet Sunlight Ascending provide a 101 of the art of weaving guitars with Multivac from their 2012 album Leaving My Waiting Room. Penscola's finest one-man project YNICORNS plays with light and shade on Riven. Aussie quartet SEIMS try their hand at making ambient rock with Showdown Without A Victim. Want a quick, loud one-two? Belgian noise duo La Jungle weighs in the breakneck speed trash-metal of Feu L'Homme, followed by their countrymen Excellente Attitude with the bass-heavy avant-funk "j'acuse", Not My Dad. And after that enjoyable sonic assault I Hear Sirens can calm the nerves with the pastoral Stella Mori, the title track from their 2020 album. To wrap things up, for now, go to WhyOceans, out of Macao, for Inmost Dens Of Emilie - Part I, a leisurely stroll through progressive rock and tinkling piano driven ambient and jazz. Take a deep breath and then start with the first track, and let the whole thing wash over you.

Good collections can act as a gateway to the discography of the artists that made the cut. A Cheery Wave From Stranded Youngsters: Volume XI once more unlocks the door for a whole bunch of acts that fully deserve further investigation. Three cheers for niche labels who give these acts a platform for their music.

A Cheery Wave From Stranded Youngsters: Volume XI is available here on 2CD (60 handnumbered copies in a gatefold screenprinted sleeve - with the otherwise unavailable bonus track Hold by YNICORNS) and of course in unlimited various (pay-what-you-want) digital formats.

  1. The Bridesmaid - Oates
  2. Din of Celestial Birds - Laureate of American Lowlife
  3. Juneau - Marrow
  4. Fort - How To Find Asteroids
  5. Sunlight Ascending - Multivac
  6. Gilmore Trail - Ruins
  7. Lost In A Detail - We Feed The Giants
  8. itlookslikeablackhole - What we Fear in the Dark
  9. YNICORNS - Riven
  10. My Education (featuring Dylan Cameron) - Emka Ultra
  11. Glasgow Coma Scale - One Must Fall
  12. Seeress - The Dream Passes
  13. SEIMS - Showdown Without A Victim
  14. Parachute For Gordo - Toucan Play At That Game
  15. La Jungle - Feu L'Homme
  16. Excellente Attitude - Not my dad
  17. Long Hallways - Forgotten Magic
  18. Liquido Di Morte - Uomo Fa Cibo
  19. We Stood Like Kings - Atlas Centaur
  20. I Hear Sirens - Stella Mori
  21. Paint The Sky Red - A Light For Every Shadow
  22. WhyOceans - Inmost Dens Of Emilie - Part I
  23. LTDMS - Treize

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HCTF review of A Cheery Wave From Stranded Youngsters: Volume X.

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