Green Street Record’s Free For All

This year’s Green Street Records compilation album is entitled Free For All, an appropriate title for the free availability via internet download. Unfortunately, the most redeeming characteristic of this album is the fact that it’s free, for I would not have recommended you spend your money on it. Though Green Street Records have proven their good taste in their selection of talented local artists for this year’s compilation, Free For All falls short of the expectations that the local label has established through past years in the local music scene.
One troubling issue with this album is the repetition of sound. Material from Ben Avci is placed a track away from an almost identical sounding Coop single. Though separated better, the same problem exists with material from Mark Donnelly and Carl Hauk. While these bands’ similar sounds cannot be avoided, surely the compilation could have featured tracks that did not boast these similarities so blatantly.
Another issue, which existed on a majority of the tracks, was a lack of conviction from the vocalist tracks. I had a hard time believing Organic Flow, Doctor Dr.PhD, and Mark Donnelly. Most troubling was The Ruckus’s “Shoot It.” A song celebrating inebriation never made drinking sound less fun – the lyrics are delivered poorly and after a few verses they become trite instead of celebratory.
Luckily, the album is not without some strong successes. Butterfly Assassins’ “Hypocratocracy” features dense distortion, heavy piano, a creepy organ line, and some impressive time changes. The track is completely unique and the sound is new; elements that many of the other tracks lack. Jonathon Childers “Politically Correct,” is a simple song that is extremely well done. His gritty voice and acoustic guitar are perfectly mixed, and the lyrics are fresh and intelligent. Finally there is “Pirate Ship,” by Tall Tale, which suffers a bit from bad mixing, but boasts a strong female vocalist with an exceptional pop sound. The track is distinct, but could be palatable to a large audience.
Though you may skip through a lot of this album, it is free, so I can’t help but encourage you to download it. The good moments are very good, certainly not worth missing. The tracks that lag behind could at least turn you on to a band who may not be featured in the best light on this album, but may very well shine on the stage.
Make sure to get your free copy of Free For All at

Leave a Reply