Various Syrup and Gasoline Vol. 2

Grenadine Records is a small Montreal-based label with a taste for straight-ahead pop and retro garage sounds. Since their inception in 1999, some of Grenadine's projects have included full-length releases by Les Sequelles, the Dears and the Frenetics. Right up front (as they damn well should be!) on this 20-band compilation is horror/schlock rock masters Transylvania 500. Their track, "Bloodwiser," shows a new direction in their organ and drum sound, with a vast echo effect that adds a spacy, almost dub-by element to the music. Other highlights include the excellent, atmospheric instrumental piece by Music By Mapmakers, "Steph and Andy," the garage-y "ya-ya!" powered Les Sequelles' "Il suffirait d'un rien" and Mario Poupette et Les Chevettes' ultra-sweet French, '60s-style pop gem, "Comment Te Dire Adieu." All in all, most of the tracks here are top flight and the usual "compilation throwaway song" factor is kept exceptionally low. It's also nice to hear a label that is not only encouraging bilingual rock and roll action but is also bringing together the often segregated camps of pop, garage, experimental and punk music. (Grenadine)