Thursday, August 12, 2021

Rum Bar Records presents XOXOXO Volume One

I can't remember the last time I was this psyched for a compilation album! Set for release on compact disc next week, XOXOXO Volume One is comprised of 24 tracks of amazing female-led music featuring bands and artists from the Rum Bar Records family. In classic Rum Bar style, this collection covers everything from garage rock to power pop to punk rock to alt country to rhythm & blues to straight-up rock and roll. The digital version of this release is available now as a free download from Rum Bar's Bandcamp. Talk about a nice price! 

 XOXOXO Volume One provides an extensive sampling of spectacular releases from the likes of Hayley and the Crushers, Beebe Gallini, The Dents, Pale Lips, The Lemon Drop Gang, The Short Fuses, The Shang Hi Los, French Girls, Shanda and the Howlers, Heatwaves, The Sorels, and so much more. What a lineup! Even if you're a frequent purchaser of Rum Bar releases, there might be a few tracks here that are new to you (I definitely need to go back and give further attention to Spanking Charlene!). There are also some special treats here that should entice even Rum Bar completists. As I mentioned last week, the compilation leads off with Natalie Sweet's brand-new smash hit single "Video Phone". It also features "Do You Know What Love Means?", a brilliant country tune from the illustrious Miss Georgia Peach. On this song, she's backed by an all-star band comprised of Travis Ramin and Nine Pound Hammer/Nashville Pussy alums Ruyter Suys, Blaine Cartwright, and Mark Hendricks. "Do You Know What Love Means?" is a preview of MGP's forthcoming solo LP -- which I can't wait to hear! To the best of my knowledge, "Living And Love Collide" is a previously unreleased track from Jenny Dee and the Deelinquents. And of course it's great! Another highlight is The Kowalskis' original recording of "I Love You Baby But I Hate Your Friends" -- a song that became an underground hit for The Dahlmanns a decade ago. Cowritten by Lindsey Anderson and Andy Shernoff, "I Love You Baby But I Hate Your Friends" had been out of print for a decade and a half. While I love The Dahlmanns' version, you just can't beat the original. Rumor has it that we might be hearing more from The Kowalskis on Rum Bar in the future! Another gem from the vaults is the kick-ass rocker "Stumbleina" by Sourpunch, the Rhode Island trio fronted by Jenn Lombari. I was blown away by this track and quickly ascertained that the whole Sourpunch album rips. You can buy it from Bandcamp for just seven bucks. 

XOXOXO Volume One is far more than a mere label sampler. It's a showcase for some of the most talented women in today's underground rock and roll scene. Every track is killer, and the whole compilation has a really satisfying flow to it. It's not often that a 24-track album leaves you wanting more, but this one absolutely does! If you feel a little guilty about downloading all of this incredible music for free, you will have ample opportunity to dig deeper into all of these bands' catalogs. CD version will be out next Friday!

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