Hard at Home

Unsigned Extreme 1 (Canyon)
Various Artists

By Kevin Gibson

Just a recording contract away from being Flaw or Tantric, the twelve Louisville bands on this compilation represent some of the best hard rock acts in town, ones that actually might be on the verge. Louisville's burgeoning hard rock scene hasn't gone unnoticed (like so many local bands do), as the aforementioned signed acts and the success of Krazy*Fest would illustrate.

Leading the charge here is, perhaps fittingly, My Own Victim, with the stop-and-go rant "Talk is Cheap." My Own Victim probably best represents Louisville's battle with obscurity over the years, having been signed to a couple of different recording deals over the years without quite making it into the mind of the metal mainstream.

Other such notables appear on this well-constructed disc which was assembled solely for the purpose of providing these bands with some well-deserved recognition. Aqua Jones and Faceplant (one of the best band names you'll hear as well) stand out, while Krosmember turns in the emotionally charged "Change." Evil Engine #9 offers a slight allusion to early Suicidal Tendencies with "Spin." Sen chills with the menacing "Heed," and Tornacade scores big with the undercurrent of angst in "Washed Away."

All these entries are worthwhile, and as any good promo disc does, it lists contact and Web site info for each band. For the curious mainstream hard rocker or just someone with enough civic pride to give it a whirl, this is a disc that will at the very least educate you on what's going on in your own backyard.