Review of Treats Album by Barsuk Records

Barsuk Records compilation (various artists) - Treats
Barsuk Records compilation (various artists) - Treats

The good people at Barsuk Records have kindly put together a fifteen track CD of the best the label has to offer. The recording is packed with leftfield guitar tunes, ranging from pure country to garage rock and power pop.

Because of the diversity of bands showcased, the collection is the hit and miss affair you would perhaps expect. Normally the main drawback with random releases of new and obscure artists is that you may disregard a band after only getting the chance to hear one song. For example, the opening track from The Long Winters, 'Blue Diamonds' nods towards Pavement and Eels, but initially it seems rhythmically repetitive and fails to standout. Luckily, The Long Winters are one of four bands that get two chances to shine on the CD. Their second effort, 'Stupid', is power pop heaven and encouraged me to go back and appreciate the absurd lyricism and subtle guitar interplay of their earlier tune.

Barsuk Records compilation (various artists) - Treats @

Nada Surf are the class act on Barsuk Records and offer up the two best songs from their latest and finest album, 'Let Go', for your delectation. Rilo Kiley are another band that do not disappoint, sounding much like Tanya Donnelly, with a sugary female voice singing over a delicate acoustic tune that builds to a breathtaking guitar rush.

Also worthy of mention are Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter, who close the collection with, 'Reckless Burning', a beautifully downbeat, dark, moody ballad, which is created by a rich guitar sound and powerful vocal.

The compilation is a steal at $5 (plus shipping outside US/Canada) from their web-site, it is unlikely you will love it all, but there is bound to be at least one new artist that you will want to keep a closer eye on.

Gavin Eves