More Kicks and Pricks

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Pure genius by reason of pure unintentionality is where this comp lives and why it works. Every note let loose by the 30 acts is untainted by the notion that one day, the artists are "gonna make it." Who gives a shit anyway? If you can get your pure joy unfettered in your own bedroom -- recording, you yob! -- why muck about any manner of goofballs who'll just goof up your goofing around? At least that's what it seems is the implicit manifesto guiding Cheap Sampler Thingy. Judging by the nearly 20-year track record English DIY indie Damaged Goods has established in the punk world -- the most well-known releases of which have been by Scotland's the Revillos and British auteur Billy Childish and his band, Thee Headcoats -- the point is energy, inspiration and exploration as expressed through rock 'n' roll, though in no particular order of importance.

Better still, this ain't no boys-only club, either. The comp kicks off with the sublime soul minimalism of Holly Golightly's "Virtually Happy" and rocks right into DIY liberation anthems and boy-you-better-do-my-bidding, sugar-coated queen bee demands from Helen Love and the Budget Girls, respectively. Boy-meets-girl-loses-girl-meets-girl-loses-boy-meets-boy. There's Anorak Girl, trumpeting seducing a 21-year-old wife, married at 16, away from her newly complacent lump of a husband. There's Sexton Ming cheekily extolling the virtue of Danny Edwards' hennaed hair and long blond legs. Love is a many splintered thing and all the shards sound damn fine here.

Cheap CD Sampler Thingy is a virtual shindig of the kind that, though geographically specific, reminds us of the universal power of not knowing any better. Teenage kicks all through the night!

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