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Album Review: Various Artist - LAB Records Preview Sampler 2009

LAB Records are a UK independent label that is just over a year old but in that short space of time, it has established itself as a enthusiastic and expanding label with this sampler especially showing evidence of this.

This 2009 Preview Sampler showcases all 5 acts from its roster and with added extras. Brighton's The Auteur kick-off the sampler with the banging "Welcome Back", a track being a fine example of Britain's thriving Pop-Punk scene which puts some of it's American counter-parts to shame, with strong vocals, thumping drums and catchy guitars.

Next are fellow Brighton band, MiMi Soya led by fiery female vocalist Hero Olivia with "Don't Stand On Ceremony" a fast-paced track with a bassy verse and catchy chorus with light "woah-ohs" back vocals which leads.

Stamford singer-songwriter Rob Lynch, aka Lost On Campus slows thing down with his brand of acoustic folk pop music. "But A Bridge" is a track that builds up to a grand conclusion which includes electronic beats and strings with Lynch's bitter vocals fitting nicely on top.

Manchester's The Honeymoon Suite kick the album back into action with "Fight. Fly. Crow", a fast and powerful track with added gang vocals and rocking guitars. Overall the track will definitely get your toe-tapping or head nodding.

My Action Your Exit are next with "World You've Got". The Glasgow four-piece are another fine example of British Pop-Punk with tight musicianship and strong vocals from Scott Craig. In addition with good guitar playing from lead guitarist Andrew McKenzie.

The sampler also treats us with 2 bands who aren't part of the LAB Records family. First there is Clarkson with "Come On" a straight forward Powerpop/Rock song, which goes along at a nice, steady pace with a simple, yet effective chorus. The Night Life Crisis are next with "Running with Scissors" which showcases an Indie band with Pop-Punk sensibilities and backbone with it's light guitar riff and steady timing.

The Auteur make a return, however I have to say I was disappointed with "Routine" with its dance beat, synth keys and vocoder lead vocals made it sound to much like the awful, embarassing music coming from across the pound of late.

MiMi Soya's "Deathwish" get the remix treatment from The Auteur. Unlike the band's own track, dance beats, tweaked vocals and synth keys, somehow work on this track. Hero's vocals went well with the vocoder effect and thumping beats.

The sampler ends with another remix. This time Lost on Campus's track "Oh No!" is remixed by James K Sanford. Sanford has taken a 3 minute bouncy acoustic track (from his "Tell Them I Had A Wonderful Life") and pretty much ruined it by overloading with synth keys, echoed vocals and horrible dance beat.

The "LAB Records Preview Sampler 2009" is definitely a 2-sided affair with the 1st showing that Britain's independent scene is thriving with talent and great songs, whilst the sampler ends on a down note. Overall this sampler shows LAB Records are on to a good thing with a strong roster of acts and 2009 can only mean things will get better for all involved.

"LAB Records Preview Sampler 2009" is available now for 99p from LAB Records Online Store or is free when brought with other store items.

Alter The Press!