As easy as it is to get caught up in the teeming swirl of our ever-generous local rock scene, it's just as easy to fall right out of the loop. Sleep on what's new in this town for even a few months and you could end up in a world of MySpace pain trying to catch up.
Nuts to that!, comes the proverbial cry from Clawjob confreres Mike Gintz and Nick Burgess, who have painstakingly assembled no fewer than 20 of the best bands currently trying to park their sketchy-looking vans around Boston. Rather than slap together a heap of quickie practice tapes, B-sides in search of A-sides, or tossed-off experiments of the sort that so often drift toward comps like this, they guide Winter Is Cold with a sharp, curatorial touch, and each song comes off like a proper ambassador of Boston's dozens of creative clusters.
Old dogs (Helms, Neptune, Ho-Ag) bust out thrilling new tricks; younger sprouts (Summerduck, Night Driving, the Measuremen) give promising signs of the variety (and tinnitus) to come. The offerings from Thunderhole, Piles, Tristan da Cunha, and Magic People glow with our town's enduring fondness for skronk and scratch; meanwhile, tender two-pieces like Brutal Love Masters and Dr. and Mrs. Van Der Trampp show a softer side more fitting to the comp's hibernatory origins. With its panoramic snapshot of this particular moment in Boston's noisier quarters, Winter Is Cold is far more than a sampler — it could very well be a staple.
Available at local shows and select shops and cafés, or digitally at www.everybodywantsaholodeck.com/winter_is_cold
Editor's Note: In a previous version of this article, the album was noted as being released on Rough Trade records when there is actually no formal label associated with the release. The correction has been made above.