Bongo Boy Records Presents VOLUME XIV by Various Artists

Mark Baxter taps into an eternal optimism on the gorgeous “Human Revival”. With an interesting nod to classic rock, the sound feels positively timeless. Vocals rest front and center, touching upon a joyous communal spirit.

Expansive in scope, Zombie Garden Club’s “Animals” exists in a fantastic haze. Guitars soar off into the sky. Akin to exploring an otherworldly presence, the track possesses a keen psychedelic sheen.

Annemarie Picerno goes for defiance on the electro-pop perfection of “Bad Girl”. Melodically rich, the piece builds up in a symphonic way. From the soothing synthesizers to the soulful vocals, everything simply works.

Incredible muscle comes to define the rollicking rhythms of Lisa Coppola & Ray Powers’ “Invincible”. Featuring a great ear for storytelling everything rushes through with a sunny disposition, one that taps into an eternal optimism. Melodies shimmer and shine throughout the song.

Bluesy to its very core Kathryn Shipley’s “Those Eyes” strips things to the absolute essentials. Her vocals have an incredible emotional impact as the story gradually unfurls. From the piano to the guitar riffs, the song is quite insistent upon rushing forward.

Representing the best of a cappella is Bruce Lev’s “Tears” ft. Armand Hutton. Quite beautiful the song comes into bloom with such color. Warm and inviting the sound is full of love.

“God Help Me” shows One Supernova tapping into early 90s indie rock vibes. From the stylish laid-back grooves to the dreamy vocals, it all works. Melodically rich One Supernova opts for a dreamy realm.

Hyperactive to its very core, Anthems For Autumn’s “No King Of Mine” blasts forward. Nicely balancing hard rock’s raw passion with an industrial pop, the track demands attention. Volume deserves to be blasted for the sound is a rush.

Minimalism defines the charming twee of SQUISH’s “Pumped Up Kicks”. By keeping things to the essentials SQUISH gives the song a true approachability. Attention to detail is remarkable for the piece allows pop and experimental to work in unison.

Above The Sun crafts a shaggy dog story with “Make Music Not Money”. Highly creature Above The Sun plays with tempo and texture with incredible skill. With references to punk rock’s unruly spirit the song simply stuns.

Ricky Persaud Jr. chooses a party spirit on “Crush”. A taut groove comes to let the track move forward with a clear-eyed presence. From the playful percussion to the easy-going riffs, the whole thing possesses such charm.

Symphonic in scope 1 Of Us touch upon the Verve’s Britpop extravagance on “Paradise”. Beats hit hard while the piece revolves around a hypnotic rhythm. Layer upon layer of sound delves into a meditative message.

A western country twang defines the journey of Studeo’s “This Time”. By far the true highlight comes from the spirited vocals. Quite sprawling the song feels fully lived in, with every note picked with care.

The oOhz takes on a reverent style with their experimental folk musings of “Needle In A Mirror”. Playing with listener expectations, their clever wordplay allows the track to twist and turn with such great ease. Melodies feel warped as the oOhz go for a mood of wonder.

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By Rob Xavier