Various Artists – Bloc+ Compilation #1 [Bloc+]

Bar Bloc have released the first of four free compilation albums via their Bloc+ label featuring a showcase of innovative artists.

The compilation was born from the venues commitment to nurturing up and coming bands that are struggling to get their music out there due to the pressures of the industry.

The bar runs an abundance of initiatives to help local bands such as; subsiding the loans of touring vans and the Bloc+Music label, which gives artists complete creative freedom to counteract the restrictions that new bands encounter with major labels.

The Bloc+ compilation series is yet another way in which the bar provides their financial support to give a platform to the most talented and inspiring musicians that have graced their stage and whose sound they want to be heard by a bigger audience.

The album features an eclectic mix of artists and genres, which manifests together to create an image of the current underground scene that Scotland has to offer.

Kicking off with Adam Strafford’s ‘Vanishing Tanks’, the award winning short film and solo artist, allows mystical vocal arrangements to perfectly start the album off.

Next up is the Deathcats with ‘Solid’, which epitomises their dreamy, surf rock, punk sound and ‘Fossils’ by Tetra that mixes electronic beats over a solid foundation of rock principles.

What makes the compilation so unique is the wide variety of purely instrumental bands that are on show; ‘Basehead’ by Cuttys Gym, ‘Not a Cop’ by Vasa, ‘Trich’ by Young Philadelphia and the pun-filled ‘Generic Clapton’ by The Gastric Band.

These purely instrumental tracks weave intricate drum loops over massive hooks and rhythms that produce the perfectly complex math rock to dance to.

The tone is brought down a notch with alternative rockers Verse Metrics with their sombre ‘Aches’ and Thula Borah’s ‘Bone Ships’ that both encompass sultry lyrics with melancholic guitars.

A surprise highlight is ‘When The Girl Comes To Town’ by Chris Devotion and The Expectations, which is a joyous lyrical ode nestled among a juxtaposition of the bubbly and the edgy.

If you are sick of current musical offerings and are seeking some grassroots music from a grassroots label, then look no further than the Bloc+ compilations as the label has offered a smorgasbord of new music, with three more offerings still to come.

Words: Katharine Gemmell

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