CD Review of I Still Hate CDs: Norton Records 45 RPM Singles Collection, Vol. 2 by Various Artists
Various Artists: I Still Hate CDs: Norton Records 45 RPM Singles Collection, Vol. 2
Recommended if you like
King Khan, Black Lips, the Dirtbombs, classic or modern garage rock
Norton Records
Various Artists:
I Still Hate CDs:
Norton Records 45 RPM
Singles Collection, Vol. 2

Reviewed by Ed Murray

iriam Linna and Billy Miller have been running the Brooklyn-based indie label Norton Records since 1986. They specialize in the raw, lo-fi side of rock 'n' roll – and that includes everything from classic to modern garage rock, retro punk, rockabilly, gritty old R&B and more, and vinyl releases play a big part of their business model. A collector's paradise, the label actually evolved out of Kicks, a Bomp-style DIY magazine, published by Linna and Miller. Their shared love of West Virginia one-man-rockabilly-wildman Hasil Adkins and his hard-to-find '50s recordings led to Norton Records' first release, an Adkins compilation, and the rest, as they say, is history.

This intentionally ironically titled three-disc set is the second assemblage of forty-five 45s from their extensive catalog, and, as with the first volume, marks the first time any of these tunes have been available in a digital format. Cratediggers should be ecstatic about this stack of previously vinyl-only singles. I don't care how obscure your musical tastes are; I guarantee most of this stuff will be new to you.

Unlike the first volume, which included rarities from such well-knowns as the Ramones, Big Star and Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Vol. 2 digs a little deeper. The most recognizable names here might not even be all that recognizable to most: early NY punk heroes the Dictators, early Boston punk heroes the Real Kids, Shangri-Las leader Mary Weiss, comeback R&B belter Nathaniel Mayer, contemporary garage rock stars King Khan and the Hentchmen. But along the way, and without making a big deal about it or hitting you over the head with a sledgehammer to make its point, the music collected here documents the progression of 'outsider rock' over the past 40 or so years.

So, while the lack of any real luminaries might make this collection pale in comparison to the first volume, that doesn't mean it doesn't deliver on the Norton ethos of "loud sound abundance" that those already familiar with the label have come to expect. For those of you with any Norton product in your collection, this is a welcome – and fun! – addition. For Norton neophytes, this is as good a place as any to start.

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