Various Manifesto #2 — Want to Verb a Noun?

It's touching to see a show of allegiance to grassroots art such as Manifesto, a zine/CD-R that serves as a scrapbook/sampler of a bunch of Canadian independent artists (mostly from Hamilton and Guelph). The featured artists are diverse, ranging from singer/songwriter (Chris Yang) to punk (Hamiltron) to folk-hip-hop hybrids (the Ghouls). While most of these bands are clearly garage/community social oriented, others, like Sailboats Are White and Katie Caron, display the potential for wider appeal. This, however, seems to be largely beside the point; whether you make music for yourself and your friends, or with ambition in mind, you make it to satisfy a need and to leave a creative mark on whoever chances to notice. A statement on behalf of a community is worth heeding, simply because so many personalities and a co-operative dynamic is betrayed within. A basement aesthetic pervades the entire Manifesto comp, with some acts sounding enticingly dingy and others simply tinted by poor production. There are noise forays that sound superbly placed within the black and white, homemade packaging, and rap-metal songs that are tolerable in context. There are hits and misses, but enjoyed as a piece in and of itself, Manifesto #2 is appreciable. (Independent)