From the initial droning hum of Plagal Grind's "Midnight Blue Vision"--a perfect song to set the tone and one of my favorite openers of its kind ever--to Shayne Carter and Peter Jefferies' delicately abrasive "Hooked, Line, and Sunken," the Xpressway Pile=Up compilation assembles an impeccable roster of New Zealand talent. For those unaware, Xpressway was a record label founded in 1985 by the Dead C's Bruce Russell. Over the course of its twenty-three releases, Xpressway reveled in the more experimental side of New Zealand music; from the sheer sonic assault of Snapper to the subtle, quiet beauty of Wreck Small Speakers on Expensive Stereos, it's all represented here, and there's not a weak track to be found amongst the seventeen assembled. Just look at that list! This is also one of the most perfectly paced compilations I've ever heard, each song seeming to lull the listener deeper into its intoxicating spell. You may not want to leave after it's over. If for nothing else, you should download this for Shayne Carter and Peter Jefferies' beautifully poignant tribute to Wayne Elsey, "Randolph's Going Home." I mean, come on. A kiwi classic if there ever was one, right? What a behemoth of a song! Oh, and a lyrics sheet for the DoubleHappy's "I Don't Want to See You Again" would be appreciated.
You need this one, trust me. - Ariel