Local Wire

Various Local Artists

This compilation easily could serve as a "Greatest Hits" of the Phoenix indie-rock scene. The CD opens with "Various Kitchen Utensils" by Skybox, a band that relocated to Chicago a couple years ago but whom we still claim as our own because their brand of quirky ragtime rock is catchier than the most shameless of show tunes. There's also a track by What Laura Says Thinks And Feels, a band with a sublime sense of melody and harmony. Their song "Illustrated Manual" recalls the dreamy vocals of the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, the upbeat piano of Beatles tunes like "Martha My Dear," and the guitar hooks of early Weezer songs. Other highlights include "The Executive" by The Craze, a danceable No Wave ditty that sounds sorta like Squeeze in the garage, circa 1979; "Guantanamo Bay" by Dakota and the Black River Bandit, a cheeky acoustic folk number that would make both Arlo Guthrie and Mojo Nixon proud; and "Chemistry" by Black Carl, a beatbox/blues/funk fusion featuring some sexy, soulful female vocals. The comp also includes songs by Underwater Getdown, Desole, The Loveblisters, Rocketline, The Stiletto Formal, Vitruvian, and Neva. Considering that 22 Valley artists contributed tracks, there are surprisingly few songs worth skipping here.
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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea