CD Review: Various Artists — AthFest 2010

Various Artists

AthFest 2010

Ghostmeat Records

By Eric Chavez

Athens and its music scene all have a flavor of their own. Hit acts from The B-52’s and R.E.M., to the Indigo Girls and Bubba Sparxxx have all sprung from Athens, making it one of the most recognized, and diverse, small towns in America. At times, the sound is pure indie, at others, pure pop, but that’s okay, because the acts have the talent to back it up. One thing though, the music isn’t for everybody. With its unique flavor, it takes a special kind of taste to enjoy and appreciate the Athens Sound.

Since 1997, AthFest has not only promoted the music of Athens, but has also supported causes such as arts and music education. In anticipation of AthFest 2010, a collection of the best tunes from some of the artists performing this year are all on one disc.

The disc starts off with The Whigs’ “I Don’t Even Care About the One I Love,” an explosive opening, which brings in the dusty direction that somewhat sets the tone for the entire complication. Listening to Five Eight’s “The Ballad of Frankie Jr.” or Ken Will Morton’s “Tell it to the Wind,” you cannot help but think of Athens on a dusty, dreamy day.

The Orkids “Told You So” wins the prize as the most infectious ditty on the record. Reminiscing of 80’s pop, the sugar-tingled track brings to mind a sunny day in Georgia.

On the more suave side, Hope for Agoldensummer’s “Be Free” and Venice is Sinking’s “Bardstown Road” slow things down for the record. One thing though, Athens’ indie is much different from other cities idea of indie. Even the energetic songs have a mellow feel to them.

Prepare to boot-scoot to some Athens country; like Bubba Sparxxx before, the country chords come through with Timber’s “Sad and Scrawled” and William Tonks’ “Allelujah (Cut the Strings),” songs that twangs things up. The Vinyl Strangers’ “So Long, Heartache” blends the Athens sound with some classic country, making it one of the more interesting tracks of the bunch.

With the mix of indie and country, the AthFest compilation sets the mood for this years upcoming festivities in celebration of Athens music and art.  It is a good thing that in a world of hyper-hyped, contrived, overproduced music, there are still some music acts out there who need not polish their sound of fine-tune produce their beats and just be real.

AthFest takes place in Athens June 23-27. More information is available HERE.


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