R.A.F.R.: A Flipside Compilation – Review


A Flipside Compilation (Flipside)
by Joshua Brown

My very early punk rock education was mainly centered around the first two Flipside compilations. They introduced me to amazing bands that I couldn’t have discovered on my own at the time (living in Hicksville, Maine) like Anti-Scrunti Faction, Condemned to Death, Roach Motel, etc. Those were the days when you were lost without your Flipside magazines (just as important as your MaximumRock ‘N’Rolls). These days, while Flipside is still a lot of fun and I’ll give them plenty o’ credit for sticking it out this long, times have changed, and it’s not as vital as it used to be. I’ll have to say the same about the Rock And Fucking Roll compilation; Throwing it on can brighten up a dull afternoon or liven up a party, but I doubt if it’s anyone’s Bible, so to speak.

Anyhow, the good folks at Flipside have given us their version of the “ultimate party album.” Every song is lighthearted and upbeat, and tracks flow one into the other quite well. Most of the 24 groups featured would definitely qualify as “underground” with the exception of Black Train Jack and Wax, who blend in quite nicely nonetheless. Some songs that jumped out at me were the Humpers‘ anti-anthem, “13 Forever,” Satan’s Cheerleaders‘ delivery of a sinfully campy cover version of the Satans’ classic, “Makin’ Deals,” Fur‘s sweetly sad, “Beautiful Wreck,” and “Tailspin” by the Avengers of the ’90s, the New York Loose.

Especially important historically (not to mention great) are the contributions made by Skull Control (members of classic California bands Skulls and Controllers) and Teengenerate, posterboys of raw and fast Japanese hardcore punk, covering the Vibrators’ “Yeah Yeah Yeah.” Pick it up and you won’t be disappointed, but then again, it won’t change your life unless you’ve been living on a desert island for the past 12 years.