Various Artists

The inaugural Hot Congress compilation cannot be fenced by any description other than "from Denver." There is simply too much happening, too many moods and sounds, and nearly as many totally distinct voices as there are bands (eleven). What the comp lacks in singular vision, it makes up for in utility: Anyone with an open mind can find a band to love. "Ageless," the track from Breakfastes, is the standout track; that's what it sounds like to feel the blood pumping in your veins. But Kissing Party and Action Packed Thrill Ride and Lil' Slugger and Vitamins and Fissure Mystic and the Pseudo Dates and the Jim Jims and Achille Lauro and Action Friend and even beat poet Ken Arkind (roughly in that order) all present winners, even if the net result is weirder than the eleven-headed animal gracing the back cover.


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