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Review by Brad Green:
God only knows Ė well probably anyone whoís read a few of these soundtrack reviews knows too Ė Iím not a huge fan of the ďalternativeĒ sound. Too often itís an alternative to any actual musical merit in my book. Fascinating how much ineptitude you can cover up with a really grungy guitar sound.

So Iím reluctant to call the bands on this soundtrack ďalternativeĒ, because, knock me off my feet with a flying plectrum, these people can play and sing; and even write a decent tune. All these groups are new names to me, and I wouldnít say thereís anything of earth shattering brilliance for the guitar-rock annals here, but the style is solid throughout.†

In fact, itís also extremely cohesive to the point of being homogeneous. Not necessarily a downside, when you consider that the edginess apparent on all these tracks Ė hence my deigning to allow them alternative status despite their being somewhat sophisticated for it Ė is a bit of a rare commodity when it arrives in the form of anything approaching genuine songcraft.†

None of the numbers particularly stand out from each other to my ears, but perhaps the tight, opening cruncher from Pacifier, and the almost soulful acoustic track from Default are the strongest of a robust bunch.

Obviously not an album aimed at me. Iím not even much of a swim fan Ė although possibly Iím just jealous of all the paragons of female pulchritude Ian Thorpe pulls simply by making a quick splash and having huge feet. Nevertheless, Iím impressed and entertained by this compilation and Iíd have to say that, along with the recent Spiderman soundtrack, it hints that the testosterone driven vocal and the overdriven guitar might have a worthy future after all.

Published November 21, 2002

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TITLE: Swimfan
ID: TV-6650-2
ARTISTS: Pacifier; Saliva; Celebrity; Default; Wayne; Sevendust; Flaw; Allergic; Portable; Pay the Girl; Llama; Ash

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