By: Graham Johnson
When we received news of the Whelmed Records Friends and Fam Summer Jam compilation for 2017, I was mad stoked considering that Alumine just recently released their new Self-Titled album through the same label. My excitement was quickly elevated when I learned that both Florida natives, Woolbright and Winded, were going to appear on the record. I was definitely in for a wild ride through Alt Rock and Emo as I made my way through this album.
The compilation began with an intriguingly unique rendition of Shout, by Tears For Fears. HOLY FAWN takes the track and morphs it into a dreamy Shoegaze form. This was followed, quite fortuitously, by a spooky track steeped in Goth Rock influences called Creep/Casanova (Pt. 1) by Lousy Hex; a fitting transition from the trance-like vibe of the first track. Notable songs on the comp come from Lo-Fi Dream-Pop artist, Winded, with I Know It’s Thin; and a more grungy half of the same coin, Woolbright, doing the second of the two covers on the album, Foreign Film Collection by Paper Rival. Though not to forget Alumine, who has submitted a track that I’ve heard live once or twice, but had not yet heard recorded til now: Antes Que Supe Todo.
There were also a few black sheep among the herd. Most notable of which, was Melt Channel; a band that mixes Alt Punk and Math Rock elements with RPG-esque 8 and 16-bit chiptunes. In contrast, and one of my personal favorites, was Gardens. Their heavy sound and raw attitude reminds me of the solid hard rock of the early 2000s. Another fun one was Superhaunted; rad and super sad Pop Rock trio that boasts OG DONKNG bassist, Matt Dobrzanski.
Overall, the compilation was an amalgamation of dark and dank tracks, spanning Sad Punk to Trancey Emo, and stands as a fitting tribute to the heritage of Whelmed Records birthplace, Seattle WA. I hope ya’ll check this one out and definitely keep up with what Whelmed is doing in the future. I think we can continue to expect excellent things from Whelmed Records.