A to Z and Back Again Week 27: Zero Hour sampler


So, we start our journey backwards through the alphabet with a mid-90’s compilation from presumably now-defunct label, Zero Hour.  I say “presumably” because the website listed on the back of the CD now hosts the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations; a Wikipedia search turned up zilch; and a Google search mainly found eBay items of the label’s ’90s catalog and a current Australian label of the same name, which does not appear to have any connection to the New York label from the previous decade.  So, what can you do.

This promotional compilation, Full House Spring ’96, contains 16 songs from 11 acts on the label’s roster.  And let me tell you, even if the title of the sampler hadn’t included the year, I would have easily figured out the era of this disc.  These bands had the same ’90s lo-fi sound you heard in dozens of acts who found a home on 120 Minutes, and after listening to it several time, it’s pretty easy to see why none of these artists really broke out.  There was nothing horrible on here – I believe I even have an album from one of the acts, Beatrice Nine – but nothing really stood out either.  Unless you count 22 Brides channeling The Pretenders on “Truck Stop.”  But I don’t.  I would say that my favorite track was “Gate 21” by Reservoir, a drony, My Bloody Valentine-esque number that was completely different in tone that the rest of the songs on this compilation.

I also have a Christmas compilation put out by Zero Hour, which is actually pretty fun.  I believe I got it as a promo as well – one of the perks of working in a record store during college.  Those were the days…


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