Various Montreal Localz

It’s difficult to find 20 local bands with their collective shit together enough to get a song into a label on time. Imagine trying to find almost two dozen bands in one city that have enough even remotely in common other than geography to create a compilation that is enticing to the entire country and actually manages to break ground. In other words, a grouping that isn’t flat out boring because you see all the same bands playing together every month. Surprise, surprise, Arisen Records has managed to do just that and keep the damage to a minimum with Montreal Localz, an obvious collection of the city’s finest talent loosely fitting into the punk rock vein. Thanks to the psychobilly of the Brains, Gutter Demons and Alley Dukes, the punk rock’n’roll of Manic Manon and the Guestlist, the just plain weird eccentricity of Starbuck et les Impuissants and Inepsy’s outward rage, and a whack of other unique takes on the genre, this hour-long album is interesting, refreshing, upbeat, far from pompous and even a touch surprising when what initially seems like utter crap turns out to be the most memorable moments on the disc. Congratulations, Montreal, you’ve beaten Toronto one more time, artistically speaking. (Arisen)