Even lil' ol' Providence, Rhode Island had a happening powerpop/wave scene back in the day, or so it would seem from this 13-cut compilation. Presumably released in conjunction with the Living Room nightclub in Providence, my appreciation for Mike Viola (with or without the Candy Butchers) led me to take this off the hands of an Ebay seller a few years ago. He appears here under the guise of the Mike Viola Alliance, and as superb as his singer-songwriter talents go, his crew isn't the only one to steal the show on this surprisingly consistent scene artifact. The Threats "Dream Girl" is a killer three-chord reminiscent of The Pointed Sticks. The Probers "Waste of My Time," is taught, driving power pop that fully evocative of the era, the female fronted Hi-Beams check in with one of Living Room's standout moments, "Live in Shadows, while Gary Shane and the Detour exercise their sheik, new-romantic finesse. Rash of Stabbings, whom bring The Living Room to a close, went onto greater things I believe. As for Mike Viola's scintillating contribution, "All the Time, All the While," is downright punky, and a very distant cry from his current work. Would love to hear more where that came from.
Sorry for the glare on the sleeve pic.
01. The Schemers - Streamline Heart
02. The Probers - Waste of My Time
03. Big World - Something Special
04. The Threats - Dream Girl
05. Ed Tabela - Right or Wrong
06. Mike Viola Alliance - All the Time, All the While
07. Outrage - Candy Store
08. Hi-Beams - Live in Shadows
09. The Detectives - Can't Remember Her Name
10. Some Red - She Snickers Euphoric Barf
11. Parallel 5th - Carrots and Peas
12. Gary Shane and the Detour - Middle of the Night
13. Rash of Stabbings - I Kill With Warning