I Eat Records is the Austin, Texas based record label, which currently plays home to some of the best American indie bands and artists around at the moment. Many of the bands have thrived in both the Austin scene and around North America, with a brief stop over in Australia. The label recently celebrated its first birthday, and did so in great fashion by having a place at the world famous South by South West festival which annually takes place in its home town.

The label currently has 6 artists, Ethan Azarian, the Handsome Charlies, the Casting Couch, the Glass Family, Vetran and the Orange Mothers. Apart from those main bands they have included some friends, and family, on their recent label compilation, 'Appetizers and Leftovers'. The friends come in the form of Acadia, Shearwater the fantastically named Fluffers Union and many more. The “family” section is completed by Folk legend Tom Banjo, who incidentally is the father of Ethan Azarian who appears solo and who also released many albums with Orange Mothers.

This compilation really represents the label's attitude and feel with its mixture of up beat indie rock from the likes of the Orange Mothers, relaxed acoustic songs from Okkervil River and Ethan Azarian, and some great Brit-pop tinged songs by the Handsome Charlies' who originate from Sydney, Australia.

The eclectic feel runs through out the label's bands. Ethan Azarian's solo music is quite different from his band the Orange Mothers. When playing on his own, he has a mellow and acoustic feel, showing the obvious influence of his father's work as a folk musician. The Orange Mothers however, are much more upbeat and many people would argue that late 80’s and early 90’s alt rockers, Butthole Surfers, stole their sound. But I’m not out here to start arguments, so I will touch upon that claim no more. Never the less Orange Mothers have some great songs that sound fresh and fun, like 'Kids (don’t know)', and the cheery grunge style 'Aliens'. Hearing such songs it is hard to imagine the band were not much bigger than they were and are now. They have a bucket load of songs that are all brilliant. They have a great mix of pop-rock hooks and witty and often cynical lyrics.

The Casting Couch are a female fronted band and sing what I can only describe as some of the happiest songs I have ever heard. They have a great blend of relaxing vocals and a real indie vibe, with a little bit of a country sound thrown in on a number of songs, showing their Texan routes.

The Glass Family aren’t related, which I was a little disappointed at having imagined how proud their parents must have been. They also all have their own day jobs, making them a real persons' band, that have to struggle through the 9-5 like the rest of us mere mortals. They have some great songs that sound timeless and at times remind me of the likes of R.E.M, Crowded House, and Travis.

The final band, the Handsome Charlies, are my personal favourite. They relocated from Sydney to Austin, which they have since adopted as their home. They play some fantastic songs that were meant to be a\soundtrack to the summer. They have the Australian sense of humour and have a distinctive Brit pop feel, which is always up-beat and come brighten even the darkest, dullest of journeys up, especially when you hear the cheery sound of the horn sections coming through in 'New York City' and 'Makes Me Love You'. This is just great agenda-less music which makes you feel lively no matter when you put it on.

Although I Eat Records is only just over a year old, they already have a fantastic roster to boast about, and this is only going to get better and better with bands of this quality doing their business with them. The collection of bands here is one that rivals any of the bigger labels in sheer quality.

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