Ethan Smith
October 06, 1995 AT 04:00 AM EDT

While these two CDs are a more-than-adequate introductory who’s who of indie rock, they’re also a reminder that independent bands can be just as prone to sonic clichés as their major-label counterparts. While about half the cuts are from legitimate up-and-comers (Built To Spill, Fitz of Depression, 7 Year Bitch), there’s enough derivative, uninspired material on Notes From the Underground, Vols. 1 & 2 to make you hope the artists responsible will retain their obscure status. Vol. 1: B Vol. 2: B+

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