Homegrown, but not a big hit - Homegrown Vol. 2 Various

2006-03-29 18:17

Ostensibly trying to showcase the diverse array of local musical moods, the inclusion of a bit of punk, a slice of soul, a dose of dance and a sprinkle of rock inevitably results in a potjiekos of sonic flavours that doesn't necessarily enhance the overall listening taste sensation.

The decision to kick off with Tweak's delirious sk8pop punk rap ride "Houseparty" is a savvy move. If ever there was an anthem for the disaffected and don't give a fuck generation then this has to be it. Actually, when it comes to giving a fuck Christian rockers Tree 63 prove they definitely have God on their side with their own uplifting anthem "No Words". And Semisane embraces a hypnotic, if on the fluffy electro-clash lite mood on "Girlfriend". Wonderboom's take on Rabbitt's love ballad "Charlie" simply drips retro-disco rap cheese and ends up a playful parody. While Sugardrive's "Disco Lazarus" is a reminder of just what liberating modern rock can sound like. Jo Day packs a groin tickling punch with the glam rock 'n roll strut of "Above My Room" as does the agitated nu-metal grind of Seether ("Gasoline").

So far so good, then. Although I've already skipped several tracks, hmmm...now let's see what were they? Oh yes, those pesky middle-of-the-road rock offerings. Well, Cutting Jade ("Fight You"), Watershed ("Shine on Me") and Henry Ate ("Finally") all re-tread a formulaic radio-ready path. While Nianell merely sounds bored by the new age formula herself. And what happened to those two dance tracks lost somewhere in the mix? Nope, "I'd Say Yes" by Pornorama (featuring Louise Carver) already has me saying no. And the Sonic Divas' "Miracle" is simply a dance-floor sham that has the listener yearning for the liberating Afro-house grooves of Oskido.

Indictment of the lot though has to be that Mandoza's "Tornado" is deemed the only kwaito worthy representative. Are we expected to believe that white kids don't get off on Zola or, heaven forbid, that masked menace Mzekezeke? And where the hell's the homegrown hip-hop?

Subtitled "20 of South Africa's Best", the 2nd instalment of the Homegrown series treads dangerously close to slapping together some kind of stereotypical "if it's local, then it must be lekker" compilation.

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