(www.godiyrecords.com) In the age of Soundcloud, Facebook, and accessible roadmaps to actual DIY ways to release vinyl, CDs, and digital, it’s hard to believe there are still scores of bands that would pay to be on no frills compilations, convinced this is the path to success. On the other hand, I’m always excited to get these comps, because I want to hear exactly what kind of band goes for this. On the Illinois comp the ringer is Dot Dot Dot, not either of the two experimental bands that had that name in prior eras, but the successful reality show band, and their super slick production is not that compelling. Actually, super high production values are abundant on this. Maybe the same bands that go to expensive studios in the era of home recording also commit to this kind of comps. The Dylan/Tom Petty mimic act John L. Sullivan is maybe my fave here. Best band name is Shortstop From Tokyo, and their pop punk (with brass) is solid but not too original. And though Iguchi was born in Tokyo, I don’t think he ever played anything but second base for the Sox, so I believe there has never been an Illinois Shortstop From Tokyo. The only band I know on this is the Joans, the all-Joan Crawford drag band, who are, of course, awesome 9how could they not be…they are all Joan Crawford). I liked Convoy and Wet Ashes as well. Forgive me for being less thorough on my non-home state releases: For Wisconsin the best name is Cannibal Galaxy, but the absolute worst name, making it possibly the best name, is Random Maxx, but since they just sound like a terrible Christian Rock band trying to go secular, I will again nod towards Cannibal Galaxy, who are unoriginal proggy alternative metal, but that’s still better. Not a lot of standouts here, but the country grooves of Butcher Class Hogs are pretty solid. Oddly, no really good band names on the Michigan one, but way more good music than Wisconsin. The Sanger Brothers are outstanding and as far as monkey songs go, The Implants deliver a 4 bananas up tune. The Kentucky edition is pretty decent, one of the first comps where the best band names have the best songs (ROugh Customers, Japanese School Girls, Uh Huh Baby Yeah!"). Virginia had a surprosing amount of novelty stuff considering how unfunny that state usually is. The Accidents, Evan Wofford, and Feed GOd Cabbage all add whimsy to the mix. I can’t figure out the “Transatlantic” editions concept: the cover is just a giant Illinois covering up a map of Europe (including Iceland). So, there are so many suckers in my state, and so few in the entire continent of Europe, that this odd configuration was a necessity? Fightball is the best name. And they have a pretty good song. Bewized might be a good name if I knew how it was pronounced and weird lo-fi belchy deathmetal is something I can get behind. If I knew if they were from Peoria or Transylvania it might help me get into it more, but they don’t give hometowns on the sleeves, and I’m not going to 20 websites per disc for more info. But assuming the weird brutal strange-voiced songs are from Europe and the power pop is from Illinois, I’ll give Europeans credit for at least not spending any money in recording studios. No-fi brutality is the way to go DIY in my book.