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Askew Review 15

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ANOTHER YEAR ON THE STREETS: VAGRANT RECORDS (Vagrant) As you may know, I think samplers/compilation cds are great. What makes a comp extra special you ask? How about a comp with lots of previously unreleased tracks! Twelve bands contribute twenty songs, thirteen of them previously unreleased, for over 70 minutes of music. One of my new favorite bands, Automatic 7, lends two Social Distortion like tunes, “Last Train to Hitsville” and “Greasy.” The best thing about cd comps, is they are a great way to find a cool band you otherwise may have never heard of. This cd didn’t disappoint in that respect; after listening to their gritty punk cut ”Rock-n-Roll America,” I am on the prowl for anything by GoToHells. The ever so popular The Get Up Kids offer two previously unreleased tracks, “Beer for Breakfast” and an alternate version of “I’m a Loner Dottie, A Rebel.” Face To Face covers The Pogues’ “Sunny Side of the Street” and contribute the unreleased “Nullification.” Other bands included; The Anniversary, Alkaline Trio, No Motive, and Saves the Day, etc. Note, there are a few slower and 80’s New Wave influenced tunes here, but hey, musical diversity is a good thing. Cool sampler/comp. – Denis Sheehan

BEFORE YOU WERE PUNK 2 (Vagrant Records, 2118 Wilshire Blvd #361, Santa Monica, CA 90403) Pretty damn cool collection of today’s punk bands covering 1980’s new wave hits. All covers Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell,” The Hippos cover “Our Lips Are Sealed,” Bouncing Souls do “Don’t You Forget About Me.” There are twelve songs in all. My favorite here is The Suicide Machines’ cover of “What I Like About You.” Since the eighties were my teen years, this disc pulled me back to a time when the popular music made me sick. These 12 punk bands make it all better. Be sure to pick up Before You Were Punk 1. -Denis Sheehan

BOSTON AND BEYOND: A COMPILATION FROM THE D.I.Y. HALLS (Nebulon Community, 44 Winfisky Dr. Stoughton, MA 02072) Very cool, diverse collection of 23 DIY bands. Most of the bands are from the Boston MA area, but there are few from surrounding states. The disc is nicely started off with Moment’s fast paced rock tune “Aramark.” The Goonies follow up with “Heartless,” a very cool old school punk tune, but with horns! The Statue Factor throws in a great indescribable, guitar thumping heart attack. Surrender lends a very funny and goofy Dead Milkmen like tune called “We Don’t Like Punks.” Democracy and SWAT both play insane punk tunes, while Castrati wails a mean hardcore tune. The Bends, akin to Face to Face, give us a terrifically rocking “Jenny’s Song.” It’s too bad the Bends have called it quits. This disc covers all the bases and gives a lot of smaller, unknown bands a chance to be heard. Hell, I’ll be checking out more info on more than few bands from this compilation. A must for the local music fan. - Denis Sheehan

 CINEMA BEER BELLY (Hopeless records, POB 7495, Van Nuys, CA 91409) This disc, the fourth in a music/video series, contain a diverse collection of punk to keep you busy. Mustard Plug contributes with some great ska, Sick Of It All punches you with some hardcore, and Man or Astroman kicks in with one cool instrumental. This disc covers all genre of punk. Also included are Bad religion, The Queers, Digger, The Strike, and plenty more. Twenty total bands. There is also a video companion, you can read the review in the video section of this rag. – Denis Sheehan

GIRLS IN THE GARAGE VOL. 1 (Romulan Records) Great collection of twenty-seven songs by girl garage bands and girl bands from the 60’s. These songs are ultra rare and are really cool. Garage rock fans must own this disc. The Belles do a female version of “Gloria” but called “Melvin.” It is great. “Take Me As I Am,” by Denise &Co. is the most impressive song on the disc. The song has more attitude than any girl band around today and really must be heard to appreciate. The Sanshers gritty version of “ Gonna Git That Man” totally blows away the Connie Francis version. The hard thing to believe is that these songs were all recorded in the 60s. Very risqué stuff for that time period. Even though the music isn’t punk, these girls were the true punks of the 60’s. Very highly recommended, if you can find it. -Denis Sheehan

GONE WITH THE WIND: A KUNG-FU SAMPLER (Kung- Fu Records) What can I write? Yet another cool label sampler. You get nine bands and nineteen songs, six of which are previously unreleased tracks. The highlights of this cd are the four tunes by The Vandals. One of those four, “I Don’t Think You’re a Slut,” is one of the previously unreleased babies. Fans of Useless I.D. will want their two unreleased contributions. Also included; Big Wig (2), Josh Freese (2), The Ataris (3), MxPx (1), Antifreeze (1), Apocalypse Hoboken (1), and Assorted Jelly Beans (3). Note; the number after the band indicates the number of songs they offer here. As I always write when I review a compilation, this is a fine way to find new and cool bands. – Denis Sheehan

 NO BORDERS (Suburban Home, 1750 30th St. #365, Boulder, CO 80301) 18 song collection of American and Japanese bands all with one thing in common. Hardcore! American bands included; 88Fingers Louie, Sick Of It All, Snapcase, Fury 66, Kid Dynamite, and others. Japanese bands included; Decay, Bent Root, Stab4reason, Downfall, and others. All the songs are hardcore punk and all are great. This a great compilation because how many of you have been exposed to Japanese hardcore bands? Every track is previously unreleased. Great concept, great disc. – Denis Sheehan

PUNKS, DRUNKS, AND OTHER JUNK (BHB Records) Ten songs eighteen minutes, get the picture? The music is 100% pure punk rock and all ten cuts make this compilation worth buying. Jakkpot’s “The End” is fast and fueled by one hell of a punk guitar.  Local favs Nobody’s Heroes sound like an 80’s throw back to the good ol’ days at CBGB’s with their “Face Man.”  “A Little Bit More” by The Dimwits is just plain great! The snotty growling vocals in Belligerent 86’s “Belligerent 86” reminds me of the old lead singer for the great Texan band Bickley (top cd pick in Askew #2). All the songs have a cool snotty garage sound to them and will surly make the punkers out there happy. Again, this comp is a great way to find a few new bands to get into. I’ll be buying more than a few releases from the bands here. – Denis Sheehan

PUNK GOES METAL (Fearless Records) As the cd title indicates, some of our favorite punk bands take a shot at covering some metal tunes. Divit kicks things off with their punk version of Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law.” Poison’s “Talk Dirty to Me” is brilliantly played by Jughead’s Revenge. AFI chips in with a raw cover of Guns-n-Roses “My Michelle.” Bigwig does a close to metal version of Slayer’s “War Ensemble.” If you’re looking for a fast, ska cover of Metallica’s “Harvester of Sorrow,” just listen to Link 80’s cut. Strung Out contributes a hyped out, with psycho laugh and all, cover of Ozzy’s “Bark at the Moon.” Forget Skid Row’s sappy metal ballad “I Remember You,” and check out The Ataris’ quick, punky version. Guttermouth, of course, gives us an arousing, female moaning laced cover of St. Madness’s “Sexual Abuse.” Dynamite Boy does a great job with AC/DC’s “TNT,” while Diesel Boy just as admirable job with Motley Crue’s “Looks That Kill.” There are seventeen total covers here. I really like these types of compilations where punk bands cover other musical genre songs. This comp rates right up there with my other favorites.- Denis Sheehan

A TRIBUTE TO AEROSMITH- Right in the Nuts (Small Stone) Great, just what I need! A bunch of bands covering a band I absolutely loathe. This two cd set is jammed packed with over 2 hours of guitar heavy rock. All the tracks covered appear to be from the early days of Aerosmith. None of that popcorn metal they spewed out in the 1990’s. Although I’ve never heard of 90% of the bands featured, there are some notables; Scissorfight, Speedball (best song here), Drunk Horse, Alabama Thunderpussy, and Raging Slab. Twenty-seven total bands and songs will keep you pretty busy here. Fans of heavy, guitar rock will dig this tribute disc.- Denis Sheehan

RUNT OF THE LITTER VOL. 3 (Fan Attic Records, POB 391494, Cambridge, MA 02139-0015) Thirty-nine punk tunes from thirty-nine different New England punk bands. Every spectrum of punk is represented here. Although there are a few clunkers here, the majority of the disc is great. Buying this disc is a great way to find a new favorite band.  Some of the bands included are: The Dixlexics, Agent 84, Shitfit, The Maggots, plus many, many more. All of the songs here are previously unreleased. This is one great compilation. - Denis Sheehan

 SHORT MUSIC FOR SHORT PEOPLE (Fat Wreck Chords, POB 193690, San Francisco, CA 94119-3690) Perhaps the greatest compilation cd ever. 101 bands playing 30 second songs. What more could you possibly want? Bands included are: Teen Idols, Good Riddance, Less Than Jake, Screeching Weasel, Blink 182, Black Flag, Misfits, Circle Jerks, Descendents, The Queers, Snuff, H20, Gwar, Green Day, Avail, Pulley, All, NOFX, D.O.A., Down By Law, The Vandals, Lunachicks, The Offspring, Pennywise, Rancid, and many, many more. Yes, I love this disc. - Denis Sheehan

 THE SPIRIT LIVES ON: A TRIBUTE TO RAYBEEZ AND WARZONE (Hate Core Records, PMB 287, 1075 Broad Ripple Ave, Indpls, IN 46220) Collection of 28 songs, originally written by Ray “Raybeez” Barbieri and Warzone, played by speedcore/hardcore bands. The songs actually sound like a combination of speedcore punk and deathmetal. All the songs are fast and aggressive as hell. I couldn’t make out most of the lyrics to save my life. Raybeez died in 1997 of pneumonia.- Denis Sheehan

VIVA NOEL- A Q Division Christmas (Q Division Records) Collection of fifteen Christmas songs performed by a very diverse selection of bands.  The Sex Foxes lends a jazzy feel to “Let It Snow.” Merrie Amsterburg charms us with her beautiful acoustic (mandolin) version of “2000 Miles.” Aimee Mann does “The Christmas Song” like only Aimee Mann can, and The Gravel Pit give us a rock-n-roll “Marshmallow World.” The disc concludes with the ever quirky song “Mele Kalikimaka” by The Gravy. Other bands included; Jen Trynin, The Sheila Divine, Jules Verdone, and more. Proceeds go to The Mark Sandman Music Education Fund. Good disc and a good cause! – Denis Sheehan

WARPED TOUR: 2001 COMPILATION (Side One Dummy) This is a 26 song compilation cd of bands who played on the 2001 Warped Tour. Derrrrrrrr…..20 of the 26 tracks are previously unreleased. Lots of unheard stuff here warped ones! To make life sweeter, the other six cuts are rare/hard to find releases! Good heavens I say. Some of the unreleased stuff is from; Rancid (Sick, Sick World, unreleased in the USA), Flogging Molly (one of my favs), Mighty Mighty Bosstones, New Found Glory (why are these guys so popular?), The Vandals, Tsunami Bomb (great band, but this song is just ok), Bigwig, Midtown, The Ataris, No Use For a Name, Deviates, H2O, Kill Your Idols (hardest cut here), The Casualties (second hardest cut here), and plenty more. Other contributors include; The Bouncing Souls, Me First and The Gimme Gimmes (great band, great song), Buck-O-Nine, and others. If you made your presence known at the Warped Tour, you’ll certainly dig this disc. Even if you didn’t attend, you’ll dig this disc. Unless you’re strictly a rap fan of course. – Denis Sheehan

WONDERDRUG RECORDS- Swallow Whole (Wonderdrug) To help celebrate their 10th anniversary, the folks over at Wonderdrug have released this very encompassing double cd set showcasing the many Hardcore and Metal bands to grace this great Boston label. Disc one kicks off with three hard hitting metal tunes from Stompbox. The toughness continues throughout the disc with meanness from Slaughter Shack, 6L6, Slughog, Honkeyball, Jiggle Screen, Malachite, Non Comps Mentis, and a few cuts by Scissorfight. Disc two includes a few bands from disc one, plus madness from Sam Black Church, Diecast, Staind, Piecemeal, Maine metalers Colepitz, and Boston hardcore legends Tree. There is also a spoken word cut from Duncan Wilder Johnson. Disc two concludes with live songs from Tree, Colepitz, Sam Black Church, and Honkeyball. As far as I’m concerned, Tree rules baby! The music here is tough, mean, and aggressive as all hell.  Lets see, 39 badass tunes clocking in at over 135 minutes to split your head open. What are you waiting for? – Denis Sheehan


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