Various Artists - "This Is Fun - Vol. 2"
(Szum Music 1999, GAGGLE 2)

From Aural Innovations #14 (January 2001)

This compilation includes several bands from the Greensboro, North Carolina area. There's an interesting variety here and while most of it is a bit raw, nearly all of it is pretty interesting. I'll give a brief rundown on the bands.

Gentlemaniac contributes three tracks. "Love Everlasting" is a country tune with a drugged quality to it. "You Don't Know What It's Like" is less so with George Harrison vocals and a stinging guitar sound that contrasts nicely with the music. "Ranging" takes country down a somewhat avant garde path, being a simple instrumental but with oddball guitar patterns and rhythms. There are two tracks from Dookie. "Jesus Drank My Beer" is a grungy good time piano-led bar tune, and "Trailerville" is an equally grungy acoustic slide bluesy tune. Raw Cooder plays grungy guitar rock with a wild female vocalist. A strange cross between bar rock and punk. Tragic Bunny has some cool sounds. "Stoned Cousin" is a slow drugged psych tune with a simple plodding bass and equally simple, but trippy guitar. And "Try To Stroll With It" is a bluesy psych tune that trips out even further. Pretty raw stuff but interesting nonetheless.

East October is a synth band that contributes two songs. "Chrome Rainbow" is an oddball synth piece with carnival sounds, maybe some Tony Banks styled melodies, and even hints of the Residents. "Kaddish" is, as the title implies, something of a Jewish dance song played on the synth. The Village Pistols offer up the song "Sid Barrett" which is an obvious nod to the Si(y)ds they're dealing with here. And this song could easily be said to be a combo of both, though Barrett is the one I hear most. More raw but interesting stuff. Beat. The Poet performs spoken word over freaky strained guitars and a thumping rhythm. DŁk's contribution is a strange quirky song in which the singer complains about the ringing phone. Fun. And finally, Reddogz play more quirky rock but this time a bit on the heavy side. But it's also got piano droney synths. An interesting collection and it's always good to see local bands working together for the common good.

This Is Fun - Vol. 2 is distributed by Szum Music. You can email them at
Contact via snail mail at 4970 Randleman Rd; Greensboro, NC 27406.

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

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