Various Amateurs on Plastic (A Tribute Teenbeat Records)

A tribute to the artists of Teen Beat Records, where a variety of obscure, yet talented, artists made lo-fi submissions to pay homage to their favourite Teenbeat tunes. Amateurs... comes with a heavily annotated booklet with detailed commentaries on the artists, the Teen Beat label and the recording transfer process. Though the submissions were mostly lo-fi - audiocassette transferred to CD - it is filled with life where the artists are actually having fun while playing music and recording. Amateurs on Plastic has all the charm of the garage pop rock tunes of old. Out of this comp of 23 different bands, ranging from rock to punk to spoken word to lounge, they all have a catchy pop sensibility that would leave the listener hooked to most, if not all, of these songs. Among the most striking tunes were "Safety in Numbers," by Vermillion, "Number One," by Pacer, and "Cape May," by Mark Robinson, which are all fun rock tunes with a groove-able tempo, catchy guitar hooks and lyrics. "Now I Need You," by Bossanova, has a great "suave Loveboat lounge singer with gusto" quality backed by guitars, drums and sappy soap opera organs. Another favourite is "Cold Heart (Warm Bed)," by the Yarns, because it is so simple and melancholic, articulated with guitars, a harmonica, what sounds like someone hitting a tin can and a melancholic-voiced girl sombrely singing the saddest song. My Mean Magpie, in collaboration with the Unlike Label, has put together a veritable treasure trove of exceptional lo-fi pop rock tunes. (My Mean Magpie)