by Scott Hefflon
For $5, ya can’t beat this thing… Much as I’m kind of a dick and write apathetic reviews about so many unexciting “punk” bands it’d make yer freakin’ head swim, I haveta say, a few things here made me scramble for the booklet to see who the hell a track was by. And seeing as a lotta punk inspires me to smash jewel cases, not the state, the fact that I wanna relisten to/go-get-the-latest by some of these bands, well, that says a lot (unlike this review so far).
Look, Epitaph has released a lot of punk gems (and a few surprising non-punk releases, but there’re no distractions here), and while they’ve certainly missed the mark a buncha times, hell, so’ve we all. But Epitaph has the good graces to release record after record of “old standards,” as well as always scooping through the bins of shit bands to find a “new” band they think all the kids’ll dig. And unlike the usual case when one of “our” bands gets signed, we don’t groan sell out, we say, cool, they made it. So new signees this outting are Death by Stereo and Madball. Unreleased tracks this time are by NOFX, Guttermouth, and ALL. Sneak peeks of Rancid and Dropkick Murphys up the ante, as if it needs to be upped with 28 tracks scraping the medium’s 74 minute headroom.
Faves are personalized, seeing as it really depends on how much you’ve been exposed to the band already. While some’ll fall on their knees before a track by Rancid or Refused or fuckin’ Pennywise or whatever, well, you knew where you stood, right? Ditto with knowing beforehand what tracks you’ll skip over every time the CD goes into the player. Everyone thinks some of these bands just plain suck, but everyone thinks different bands suck, see? Me? I hadn’t realized Millencolin were so damn crafty, and ditto with the Dwarves, the latter getting slagged by die-hard punks but deserve props for being able to write a hand-clappin’ rock tune. And the best, the rest, the also-rans?, well, do the math yourself… If nothing else, here’s a shitload of names you may’ve been curious about and here’s a way to check ’em out without having to risk the bucks on a full-length. Explore and enjoy! Oh, and if only a few of these names ring a bell, try getting out a little more. Others rockin’, reeling, and shakin’ up the joint: The (International) Noise Conspiracy, Vision, Osker, 98 Mute, The Beatsteaks, H2O, Straight Faced, Bombshell Rocks, Bouncing Souls, Satanic Surfers, Pulley, Union 13, Voodoo Glow Skulls, The Hives, New Bomb Turks, Zeke, Agnostic Front.