Published Mar 09, 2009Once a hub for some of the '90s sweetest indie pop, it appears Slumberland Records is once again rising to that reputation after an appropriate three-year slumber from 2003 to 2006. Thanks to stellar recent efforts by Crystal Stilts and this year's darlings, the Pains of Being Pure At Heart, the label has kick-started a sudden resurgence in the fizzy, buzzy and jangly sounds of indie pop. This leads me to once again reevaluate the timeless C86 cassette, a free compilation NME threw together in 1986. It's become legendary for founding "indie" as a musical term - cue the cursing or praising. According to Saint Etienne's Bob Stanley, a noted pop maestro and music scribe, C86 was the "beginning of indie music... It's hard to remember how underground guitar music and fanzines were in the mid-'80s; DIY ethics and any residual punk attitudes were in isolated pockets around the country and the C86 comp and gigs brought them together in an explosion of new groups."
Thanks to Chocolate Bobka (via Gorilla vs. Bear), the comp is now making the rounds online. While it's certainly filled with indie classics like Primal Scream's "Velocity Girl" and choice cuts by pre-Stereolab Marxist outfit McCarthy, legendary pop Scots the Pastels and the more relevant than ever before Shop Assistants, don't be fooled by its influence: there are some pretty unforgettable moments here - Stump, I'm looking at you.
1. Primal Scream "Velocity Girl"
2. The Mighty Lemon Drops "Happy Head"
3. The Soup Dragons "Pleasantly Surprised"
4. The Wolfhounds "Feeling So Strange Again"
5. The Bodines "Therese"
6. Mighty Mighty "Law"
7. Stump "Buffalo"
8. Bogshed "Run To The Temple"
9. A Witness "Sharpened Sticks"
10. The Pastels "Breaking Lines"
11. The Age of Chance "From Now On, This Will Be Your God"
12. Shop Assistants "It's Up To You"
13. Close Lobsters "Firestation Towers"
14. Miaow "Sport Most Royal"
15. Half Man Half Biscuit "I Hate Nerys Hughes (From the Heart)"
16. The Servents "Transparent"
17. Mackenzies "Big Jim (There's No Pubs in Heaven)"
18. Big Flame "New Way"
19. We've Got A Fuzzbox and We're Not Afraid to Use it "Console Me"
20. McCarthy "Celestial City"
21. The Shrubs "Bullighter's Bones"
22. The Wedding Present "This Boy Can Wait"