Leicester independent label Sorted have been around and about for a good decade or so now. Having put out early releases by the likes of Prolapse and Cornershop back in the day, Sorted have plodded along merrily, going barely unnoticed outside the confines of Junctions 21 and 22 of the M1.
With Hollow Smoke, their most high-profile album release to date, all this is about to change, as the treasure chest of talent at their fingertips is quite frankly mouth-watering in the extreme. And, at a measly £5 for nineteen tracks, even old Ebenezer Scrooge himself wouldn't pass on this compilation for love, let alone money.
Not being a genre-specific label is possibly Sorted's greatest asset, and Hollow Smoke basically crosses more boundaries than Kevin Pietersen on a good day, meaning that whether your specialist subject is folk, rock, electronica, blues or punk, you won't be disappointed with what's on offer here.
Opening with redcarsgofaster's 'Open/Shut', a band many DiS readers will already be familiar with, their punkrocktechnofury leads astutely into The Fabulous Foxes' discordant 'Rescue Me' before charging like a headless chicken through a barn door with The Dirty Backbeats and their pikey bluegrass 'Sticks'n'Bones'.
In fact, it would be quite simple to just reel off all of the artists who've contributed to this record and give them a gold star each, as the [SKIP] button finds itself rarely deployed here.
Standing out from the crowd as unadulterated highlights though are Corby trio Chapter 24 and their The Who-bastardising riot grrrl squabble 'The Song That Dies Too Much', Her Name Is Calla's gentle strum 'Nylon', and Pacific Ocean Fire's East Midlands Grandaddyisms of 'In God's Hands'. There are many others on here that catch the eye (and ear), and at approximately 25p a song, you can't really ask for much more.
Top one, nice one, Sorted!
9Dom Gourlay's Score