Mega billion-dollar corporate music machine labels don't really have to bother with really promoting their acts very much either, since you're already listening to them, either by choice or because it's being played on a station owned by the same label that distributes the artist's work.
Then, there are the other guys. Record labels that know their artists and their artists' fan base. A fan base they want to grow for the benefit of them both. I don't see them as much as I used to, but it's good to see that smaller labels are still doing what they can to get the word out about the groups they rep, and one of the best ways still around to do that is the good, 'ol fashioned mix tape, especially if you're loading the tape with bands that you promote. Entelodon Records has released a compilation album titled Entelodon Rising: Volume 1, comprised of 18 different bands/artists that fall under the umbrella of their distribution love. I've always enjoyed getting a sampler CD from a label that has a band I already enjoy on it, simply for the fact that smaller labels tend to gear towards similar taste when they sign a band, and I'm more often than not sure I'll find at least one track to follow down the rabbit hole and see where it ends. Let's go ask Alice . . . Some of the bands were already familiar to me from previous reviews, bands with names like Prainbork, Mangled by Mangulation, Strangled by Strangulation. Bands with names that elicit the question of whether they are being pithy or punky. Either way, they have some interesting tunes.
Prainbork's contributions to the album are "Prosthetic Burritos" and "Mustard Donut (feat. Al Lowe)." Nicely showing a bit of diversity of the band, the first track reminds me a bit of the polka featured in the movie The Devil's Carnival and builds in with some nice drum rolls and guitar riffs, while extolling the virtues of junk food ingredients that would make for a nice standard fair on a Warped Tour side stage. The second track from them had a bit more of a speed metal tinge but leveled itself back with a little jazzy sax toward the end.
Mangled by Mangulation's song "Routes of Determinism" had me doing a little philosophical debate in my head. Literally. Determinism is the philosophical idea that every event or state of affairs, including every human decision and action, is the inevitable and necessary consequence of antecedent states of affairs. The bastards masked it in a metal song. Grrrrr.
Strangled by Strangulation had me grabbing for the dictionary with their track "Mucophagist." Another fun, barking metal song, the kind you really need to concentrate on to decipher the lyrics. Once you know the lyrics, you get the joke. Mucophagists are people who pick their nose and eat it. RAWK!
Two tracks were provided for the band Despite Loyalty, "A Waste of Fidelity" and "Blind Reflections." Both tracks reminded me something that would fit well on The Crow soundtrack, which, if you get the reference, means you already know some decent music. Despite Loyalty gave me a very early Nine Inch Nails, more sedate Marilyn Manson vibe. Not trying to melt your face or infect your children, just some solid beat and energy you can enjoy while cruising for trouble of another kind on a Friday night.
Burning Jet Black - "The Brutal Beyond" - Killers-esque to my ears, like something from The O.C. or Entourage - toe tapping and would make great hipster bar music.
Captain Invengo - "Mattress" - Very solid guitar riffs, again a sound likened to The Killers, good in the car, pumping up for the evening song.
Groamville - "Road to Ruin" - I was vibin' the Oz Man on this track, very Ozzy type of tune. Not super heavy, but it makes for a good shout back song. Worth checking out for those into light metal and a crowd callback.
Toshi Yanagi - "Hello Humanoids" - Reminiscent of more guitar based, non-vocal Marilyn Manson but with some sampling that sounds like a Speak and Spell a bit, great for a soundtrack for a '90s hackers movie; really dug it, a little NIN vibe.
Grimwolf - "Little Red" - Heavier metal, Metallica-esque musically, fun song from the BB Wolf's perspective, and it had me singing along by the end of the song.
Ave Rose - "Rise" - Finally a female singer! Now, I don't get to call Entelodon an all boys club. Sharp sound of claps and word percussion, a little Asian/Eastern at points, relaxing but not super sedate; dug it. If you go to her website, www.averose.com, you'll see that besides this track she does a metric buttload of other projects, both musically, visually and other. A very interesting, diverse woman.
Sucka M.C. - "Lollipop That" - Rap about candy mixed with sex (lollipop that pu$$y b---h), kinda like something M.C. Chris would do. It's funny, head bobbin', smirk inducing, and something you would play for friends to see the expressions that come over their faces.
Starfish - "Stuck in California" - Crunchy female vocals, '90s sound, Empire Records/Tank Girl soundtrack potential, a little screechy but in a good way that makes me nostalgic for flannel.
Pain After Death - "This is Why I (We) Live" - A touch speed metal, fast guitar and drum, the a-little-more-harsher metal, a little of a Pantera vibe (Fuckin' Hostile), very head banging. A band I probably would have gone to see live when I was in high school. Got a little less harsh towards the end, but it ends strong and that's what counts.
Binary Field - "S6" - Hackers background music. If it's past 4 a.m., you're drinking Jolt Cola and reading old code books online for some hidden meaning, then this song will pulse with you.
Fractured Transmission - "The Choir of 16 Asian Leather Daddy Ghosts on Speed Bring Sexy Back from Hell" - Short NIN vibe, processed vocals, took longer to write the song title than hear the song. That's what I have to say on that.
Slig - "Abort Me" - Somber start, almost like a slow RHCP or Soundgarden start w/o bass, a little more heavy (not much) at the 1-minute mark, chill, relaxing, nice for after work, picks up a little more at 2:30 mark and continues a steady build. One band I would like to hear more from in the near future.
Miami Fitness - "The Bledge" - A pledge, or what sounds like occult prayer at beginning, then gets into chunky '90s dirty rock with some tech samples. A bit heavy handed on the dark rites intro but was able to grab a piece of it once it got going.
Finally I recount a track by F.T.A. called "Foreign Cars and Movie Stars" - a nice piano opening, then some strings (kind of like the beginning of NIN's "Heresy") but sedate, just a little electric drum that reminds me of that. A nicely done transition song, mellow, but keeps your attention and has you wanting to hear more.
Samplers were a staple not too long ago, children 'o mine, but rarely do you get one that is more than a carnival wheel crap shoot. Here's one you can at least expect to get a "free ticket" back on. Gotta play to win.
You can thank me later.