Radio Rage - Local Music Show Compilation - 91.9 FM "The Wildcat" (Manhattan)
Damphool Records

The Radio Rage compilation from 91.9 FM’s Local Music Show is an excellent representation of local music. The Wildcat program’s hosts, Jeff Bilberry and Dave Studnicka, have culled an excellent collection of both known and unknown artists. As a matter of fact, the first six tracks are very strong, with a wide range of genres such as funk, pop, punk, ska, and in the case of the Egomaniacs, no particularly discernible genre. All six tracks are the cream of the crop, and provide an excellent start.

And even better, of all the tracks, only three (Sharkey's Little Groove Box, Podstar, and Effigy) are previously released. Well, technically, five, but 8 Degrees and Phat Albert’s albums came out after Radio Rage. There are also two covers- Ruskabank covers Truck Stop Love’s "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" and BFDM covers Katrina and the Waves’ "Walking On Sunshine." Oddly enough, both songs are by Kansas bands- Katrina and the Waves being from Wichita and Truck Stop Love being from Manhattan, keeping the whole CD even more local.

The CD sounds quite good, and all the tracks have great recording quality. Well, with the exception of the songs from the lesser-known acts, those being tracks 15-19. Which is sorta sad, especially in the case of JB Spitfire’s "No One Else." Had it been recorded with less muddiness, it’d be the most radio-friendly track on Radio Rage, with a heavy pop rock edge and a sequencer sound making it a potential crossover hit.

Also, while the live tracks are interesting and well recorded, they merely are a taste of what could have been. The orginal idea was for the entire CD to be a compilation of acts recorded live during the Local Music Show. The recording on these songs is quite well done, and it would have been interesting to see what else came from the other bands that have played live in the Wildcat studio. It’s also pretty cool to get a good recording of O’Phil’s "Reno."

However, when all is said and done, this comp is pretty spotty. The good tracks are what make Radio Rage well worth picking up. However, the middle-of-the-road tracks are all fairly weak. It’s worthy as an introduction to some of the area’s lesser-knowns, though. And it’s pretty cheap, so if you really want some hard-to-find Ruskabank, O’Phil, BFDM, Fakebook, and Pomeroy, grab it.