Various The Amalgamation Compilation

If one was to try hard to see through the dense pollution that envelops Hamilton, ON, they will quickly learn that not only is there is more than meets the eye, but there is more than meets the ear as well. Hottub Records releases their second aluminium platter straight from the steel ovens — a rather comprehensive encapsulation of what musical artists currently lurk about the city on a regular basis. Upon immediate ignition of the disc is a new, exclusive track by Chore, entitled "Aloha," which instantly makes this compilation worth acquiring, as the badly-in-need-of-a-break, mathematical pop-rock band rapidly reaches ethereal heights. And lest we forget the left fielders that the Hamilton region is infamous for — you know, those legendary "crazy" people you “rest of Canada” people talk of — there are copious doses of brilliant madness on this disc, (I refer to these folks as the “functionally autistic”). Including tracks by the likes of Transylvania 500 (featuring “Wolfboy” and “Count Suckula”), Big Brother, Mayor McCA, the technocratic Tally Hum Orchestra and the compelling one-man operation Waxmannequin — a profound being of intellectual oddity that is well ahead of his own time. The musical youth of the city is well represented by the trio of brothers in the Lassue Yous, 68 BPM, the Tighties, Subdominant and Wallowstarr, all of whom are easily capable of producing solidly venerable radio-friendly pop hits. Additional personal smite beams towards the hallucinogenically chromatic instrumentalists Kitchens and Bathrooms, and the eight-man strong Warsaw Pack, who tell it like it is with "Poorboy Blues," an existentially realistic hip-hop, blues, jazz, funk tale of a near-30 midlife crisis-inflicted soul that is the modern day starving artist. So the next time you drive over that bridge into Hamilton and see the archetypal industrial skyline, keep in mind that although it might be hard to see through the smoke, within the context of sound and music, there are no boundaries. Don't be surprised if “the next big thing” is from Hamilton and not Toronto — the city that unfortunately constantly overshadows it. Hamilton has already proven such a case many a time in the past, and it will again; it could very well be on this disc. (Hottub)