'After Midnight' compilation shows other side of Worcester music.

AuthorInfante, Victor D.

Byline: Victor D. Infante

It's a common-enough complaint: The Worcester music scene is all cover bands, all metal bands or just plain lacking in stylistic diversity. And sometimes it's easy to concur with that assessment. But it doesn't take too much scratching at the surface to realize that there's far more going on in the city than is immediately apparent.

Take for example "Living After Midnight 2015,'' an eclectic compilations of artists that have performed at the Distant Castle house concert series, one of many such series that dwell right on the periphery of vision.

All of the compilation is deliciously low-fi, and a great deal of it is entirely ramshackle. But there are moments on "Living After Midnight'' -- available on the series' Bandcamp page -- that illustrate the depths and passion of what's out there, and that's valuable. And thankfully, it's also entertaining.

The album begins with a flat out rock 'n' roll explosion by the local band Styk and its song "Hitch.'' it's a grimy, energetic little blast of '80s-style glam rock: Fun, fast and unpretentious. And it's fine, but when you follow it by the offbeat synth-alternative drone of Granny Frost's "Golden Opportunities,'' you suddenly have a polarity on the album that commands your attention, and makes the listener wonder what's going to happen next.

And honestly, pretty much everything comes next.

If you had to pin it down, the best song on the album probably belongs to the band Secret Lover. Following on the heels of local band Kiss Concert's lickety-split punk song "Stupid Guy On My Phone,'' a fast-paced, high energy steamroller, Secret Lover creates an almost jarring moment with the slow, smoky "Sometimes the Wine Becomes My Lover.''

With its plaintive female vocals and '50s-style guitar, the little ditty about drunken confessions is instantly engaging and leaves you wanting to hear more. But there's no time to sit still ... there's speed metal waiting in the wings.

At times, the stylistic shifts can be jarring, but one imagines that's intentional. And make no mistake, metal, hard-core and their various subgenres are...

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