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Various Artists | We Thank You (Kindercore)
The unmistakeable vocal chords of Robert Schneider open this three disc retro/future/spective celebration of the Athens, GA based label Kindercore, currently home to Birdie, I Am The World Trade Center and The Essex Green among many others. As with all of the first disc's selections, it's a new track (at least to those not in the habit of tracking down Apples in Stereo's Japanese releases he said smugly), raising We Thank You above the status of 'greatest hits' predictability. With a plethora of Elephant Six affiliated artists among their roster, there's a lot of whimsical, off-kilter indie pop to be found among the forty tracks herein, but the likes of Sleeping Flies, The Phones, and C.A.R. put a futuristic slant things, Tuesday Weld (of the Stephen Coates variety) providing an even longer bridge across the decades with his cut'n'paste swing-jazz stylings on I Like It That Way. Disc Two is labelled 'Classics,' a selection of out-of-print rarities that show the label's roots in yer classic guitar indie, the closing pairing of Major Organ & The Adding Machine and Nipples For Days encapsulating the lo-fi DIY weirdness that was channeled into the likes of Olivia Tremor Control who, coincidentally, begin Disc Three's Remix set with Hideaway a classic pop ditty here diminished in charm by World Trade Centre (the same team responsible for the equally inappropriate and lumpen revamps of tracks by Of Montreal, Ladybug Transistor and Masters of the Hemisphere). An un-named remixer (Coates one presumes) puts a different spin on Tuesday Weld's nostalgic tear-jerker The Days of You & Me, the only alternate version worth much on this 'bonus' set. As an overview of an eclectic stable of acts, We Thank You is a more than satisfactory sampler but, as a listening experience it's less succesful, the urge to compile a single disc of highlights pretty high. And one presumes the absence of Kings of Convenience was contractual rather than a glaring oversight...but be thankful we've been spared the World Trade version of Toxic Girl.

Matt Dornan
CWAS #7 - Spring 2001