Fantastic but not plastic, it's a download.
No you havent came to the wrong place or ended up surfing the Smash Hits or Closer website by mistake, this is still roomthirteen and this is not a review of one of they mass-market lowest level pop compilation albums, its just very nearly borrowing the title.
Yes, Fantastic Plastic have reached release number 100 and to celebrate this and the launch of their digital store have launched the 'Now That's What We Call Music Vol 1' compilation. If you can see what they did there, then you'll get the joke but don't fear about the music being similar to that type of record, this is definitely an indie record.
The Strange Death of Liberal England provide the opening track and it fits the bill perfectly, its anthemic, its shouty and above all, it has that weird streak running through it. This weirdness comes back to the fore when Angelica launch into 'Why Did You Let My Kitten Die?', a half punky, half pop number that The Pipettes would turn their hands to if they ever bothered with a song that wasn't about shagging.
Things pick up a bit with Ikara Colt and their 'At The Lodge.' This writer had a lot of appreciation for Ikara Colt and it was a shame when they called it a day. There was a spiky edge to their music that was lacking in other bands and you can't help but feel they were the right band at the wrong time as their brand of bass-driven low level meanderings would surely work better nowadays when you consider how the Joy Division influence is back in vogue again.
As you expect theres a fair bit of variety and styles on this album. There is The Guillemots debut single and it sounds so much like a Dexy's Midnight Runners track you can only hope that Kevin Rowlands had his lawyers give the band a call. You have the Futureheads offering a Russian folk-ballad...oh wait, no you don't, you get the Futureheads offering up the exact same type of track they offer up every single time. Its snappy, its driven by the bass and the vocals shout as though they are inviting the listener out for a fight, which is probably the underlying theme of they lyrics anyway.
Its not just about chart-bothering bands though. The Buffseeds turn in 'Sparkle Me' and its quite a touching little number although the singers similarity to the boy from the Bluetones nags in your head a bit but that aside, it glides by nicely with a little chorus that has its heart leaping for joy.
Over and above these highlights, there are a few other numbers that will work for you depending on your individual tastes and you have to say, as a broad picture of the record label, Fantastic Plastic appear to be doing a grand job.
It's a 16 track download retailing for a fiver, so okay, its not quite a Radiohead name your own price type of deal but theres not going to be any real complaint about value for money here.