Spanning ’80s-indebted synthpop, rambunctious rock, and forward-moving punk, the Forged Artifacts label's new compilation The Greatest of All-Time Vol. 2 is an eclectic mixtape that generates a mood as intimate as listening to a band practice in a garage, while capturing the beloved quirks and charms of the Twin Cities underground.
Made up of 18 tracks of new and unreleased material selected by label founder Matt Linden, it's available today both digitally and on limited-edition cassette, with proceeds benefitting the ACLU and the Hopewell Music education program. (Full track listing here.) Five of the bands featured will perform at a release show at Blockfort Studio tonight.
The collection distills each of its artists' unique personality into a single track. The sweet bubblegum of Suzie’s “Over It” conjures the haze of a summertime daydream about the pains of growing older, while Tony Peachka’s fidgety “Gossip Girl” is a simmering nervous breakdown about the need to better one’s self. From Panther Ray’s optimism for new love on the bouncy piano ballad “Because You’re New,” or Ahem’s wide-eyed earnestness on “The Lake,” the songs on G.O.A.T. Vol. 2 are committed to personal and artistic growth.
The tape bridges the gap between fresh faces and scene stalwarts. Newcomers Spooky Ghost’s “Denim Dream” is a reverb-soaked ’90s grunge romance to get lost in, as is Lattice More’s “Sweaty Now,” with its whispered delivery and folksy experimentalism. Meanwhile, established acts like Fury Things cut through a wall of sound with a delectably sweet chorus on the sing-songy “I Went Away.” Elsewhere, Jordan Bleau, the former Frankie Teardrop frontman, is back with his latest project, the throwback synthpop act Cheap Fantasy, crooning innocently across a clicking drumbeat on the neon-tinged “Ain’t Hard.” An equally starry-eyed companion, Joey Joey Michael, shines with glamour amid the futuristic disco-pop on “Love Hate.”
But there are plenty of riotous moments and punk acts of resistance too: the power-pop romp of Private Interests’ on “Teenage Tom,” the clamor of Ripper’s “Kiss the Ground,” the anti-capitalist screams of MURF’s “I’d Buy That for a Dollar!” In fact, The Greatest of All-Time Vol. 2 is paced like an old-fashioned mixtape you’d make for a crush, which is fitting, because the tape is Linden’s love letter to the community his label was born from.
The Greatest of All-Time Vol. 2 Release Show
With: Cheap Fantasy, Ahem, Private Interests, Posh Lost, Fury Things
When: 9 p.m. Fri. May 5
Where: Blockfort Studio
Tickets: $5/$10 (includes tape); more info here