Punk Rock is Your Friend
by Scott Hefflon
Kung Fu’s third sampler, Punk Rock is Your Friend, shows the “new” direction the label is going, and since Apocalypse Hoboken, Assorted Jelly Beans, and Longfellow failed to woo the world, it’s understandable that they’d latch onto The Ataris‘ success and follow it up with semi-interesting bands who can open for them – Audio Karate, Ozma, Antifreeze, and Mi6 – while maintaining a shred of dignity by losing lots of money making future cult classic punk movies starring good bands (No Use for a Name, who appears here) and trying to show off Israel’s Useless I.D. to trendy kids who just want cute singers who look humble in photos whether they’re closet date rapists who simply how to play the shy guy game to get laid, whether they can sing or not. Hey, I feel bad for labels now: You have to sell the kids what they want to buy, and we’re in an awful slump. People actually seem to want to pay money for heartfelt Creed drama queens and nü metal dumbasses and emo boys who can’t sing but write about flowers and puppies and get away with it without getting their asses kicked daily for being such fake sensitive posers (real men will pause to appreciate a flower, but then get back to helping you change a flat tire, do these emo dorks even know how to change a tire?). Hey, I didn’t make the world suck ass, I just live here…
The Ataris, for all the slagging I give them, really smoke when they pour it on, like “Make it Last.” But like Korn and Weezer, we give them shit for what they created, and that’s a scene full of bands who take what’s good about their heroes and then drive it into the ground cuz they’re shitty opening bands and always will be.
Punk Rock is Your Friend offers two tracks apiece from each band, one hit and one shit (in most cases, there’s a reason why it’s unreleased, don’tcha know…), but it sounds like a good idea, and it does offer, uh, context. Bands I haven’t mentioned yet: The Vandals (who I’m greatly looking forward to getting new material from, cuz these recycled gems are getting tired cuz we have them, we have them, geez!) and Tsunami Bomb (a great signing, but these demos of their balls-out Tilt style punk tease but sound like shit).
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