Deep Elm -2005 - 46 minutes

Less than a year on from the first instalment, US label Deep Elm weighs in with a more accomplished and memorable follow-up. While the focus remains on American bands (Sweden's Cameran and Japan's Nature Living being the exceptions), there's a diversity of sound here which was missing first time 'round.

Alongside the power and speed of Jena Berlin, you get the roots sound of Sedona, the tender acoustics of both Meredith Bragg and the Terminals and the oddly-named Death Ship and the quirky sampling of Maxwell Toft. There are also plenty of bands for Deep Elm's emo faithful - all of whom they'll be eager to hear more of, with closing outfit Bernard hinting at great things to come.

Understandably, this series still feels like it's moving towards a full head of steam; when it gets one, there'll be plenty of people ticking off the months until the next volume.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Maxwell Toft: Band 2: Lesson 37 - Formal Speech - Jena Berlin: The Thief - Meredith Bragg and the Terminals: New York - The New Lows: Cold Shivers - Cameran: Crash Course About Diamonds - Sedona: I've Got Nothing For You, Phantom - The Forecast: Red As the Moon - Death Ships: Thelma Lou - The Silent Press: Can't You Tell - The Call Up: Brand New Life - Nature Living: Nothing of the Sort - Bernard: My Brain