Various - Experiments in Audio Rocketry (Cover Artwork)


Various: Experiments in Audio RocketryExperiments in Audio Rocketry (2003)
1-2-3-4! Go Records

Reviewer Rating: 3

Contributed by: maverickScott
(others by this writer | submit your own)

As Punk Goes Acoustic's woes continue, a compilation comes out with the same premise, but is vastly more credible [making it okay for a majority of you to buy]. Experiments in Audio Rocketry is billed as "a mostly acoustic compilation," and is just that - many of your favorite punk bands doing most.
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As Punk Goes Acoustic's woes continue, a compilation comes out with the same premise, but is vastly more credible [making it okay for a majority of you to buy]. Experiments in Audio Rocketry is billed as "a mostly acoustic compilation," and is just that - many of your favorite punk bands doing mostly acoustic songs. The tracklisting includes such heavy hitters as NOFX, Jesse Michaels [of Operation Ivy/Common Rider], Kevin Seconds [of 7 Seconds], Ann Beretta, and Bad Astronaut, as well as some of the scene's up-and-comers like Against Me!, Gunmoll, Lawrence Arms, and the Arrivals [woah, kind of a weird Gainesville/Chicago thing going on there...]. There's also plenty of bands that many of you probably have never heard of, but are well on their way to make a name for themselves - Grabass Charlestons, Fifth Hour Hero, and This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb all come to mind.

As you can see, the lineup is rather stacked, but the biggest letdown is that a number of these songs [from big and small bands alike] are previously released in one form or another. This turns the compilation from something that is truly one-of-a-kind into more of that mix tape of all the acoustic songs you have in your punk album collection that you've always wanted to make but you're too lazy [c'mon, I can't be the only one who wanted to do this]. NOFX's "Whoops I OD'd" was one of my favorite tracks off their new album, but on this comp the song is just way too... well, *produced* for a CD such as this, packed to the brim with raw, 4-track acoustic performances.

Jesse Michaels' "The Bell Tower" is definitely a highlight, as is Justin Perkins' "On The Other Side." Kevin Seconds, on the other hand, contributes a bit of a stinker in "Life Gets Sadder" [or maybe it's just me, as I loathe the guy's voice]. Gunmoll's "Untitled" is absolutely amazing, and No Idea labelmates Billy Reese Peters and Grabass Charlestons show just how close punk really is to country music.

But my favorite contribution to the CD is that of the Arrivals, performing a combination of "-1" and "Hell Can Wait" live on a Chicago radio station. It sounds heavenly, and further cements my love for this massively underappreciated Chicago band. Definitely the gem on this comp.

This CD is a heartfelt collection that obviously had a lot of effort put into assembling it - you'll be hard pressed to find any flavors of the week on here. Sadly, the album tends to lack a lot of real standout tracks that warrant multiple plays - it's nice enough to listen to all the way through and all, but the replay value is virtually nil for me.

Don't let my ambivilance stop you from picking up this, though - if I've learned anything from the readership of this site [at least the ones that comment frequently], this CD should be more popular than water [or beer] for most of you.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Droote (July 28, 2011)

The song by Against Me! Is it the same "untitled" aka "Burn" as on Crime As Forgiven By?

Anonymous (August 1, 2003)

Here's how this comp breaks down for unreleased tracks. There are 13 songs not on any other records in any version. There are two songs on other records exactly as they appear here, one radically different version, and two live tracks that haven't gone anywhere before. I set aside the lawrence arms song as well as the two live tracks in a bonus section because although they have their moments...especially the arrivals track...they weren't up to the same quality as the rest of the record and when/if I do a vinyl version some time in the future they won't be included. Anyway I just wanted to clear up that this comp is not mostly released material. Anyway all in all I'm really happy with how it came out. Also the Jesse Michaels song is just him and is not available anywhere else and it is awesome. If you want to order it from me you can do so at http://www.1234gorecords.com

Anonymous (July 23, 2003)

Oh, RP4L again, I get to see Grabass Charlestons and the Timversion in a couple days. Ramo's jealous, unless he saw them as well. The Timversion, by the way, put out their own excellent acoustic record. Get it from addwreckedkids.com if you know what's good for ya. It's all country and shit, so it's good. Like cereal.

Anonymous (July 23, 2003)

I, the RealPunx4Life, wrote up a review for this but didn't do nothing with it. I'm dumb. Here's my thoughts in brief: When I got this, I thought I'd be skipping right from track one (Against Me) to seven (Billy Reese Peters) because the five in between were by folks that I either 1) hate (see: NOFX, Kevin [well, Seven anyways] Seconds) or 2) didn't know but would probably hate (see: the other three) With my finger trained on the 'skip' button, Justin Perkins knocked my socks on my ass and was the exact opposite of what I was expecting. He gets the spirit award for this disc. Anyways, the following bands I was looking forward to and didn't disappoint: Against Me (well, the fact that I'd heard the song was pretty disappointing), Billy Reese Peters (see: my Against Me complaint), Grabass Charlestons (see: Fuck yeah!), Gunmoll (see: What Scott said), Fifth Hour Hero (see: What someone below me said. Hehe, "blow me."), Arrivals. The following I was looking forward to and... eh: This Bike... (Great song, shitty recording.), Lawrence Arms (see: previous). The following I was ambivalent to but wound up loving: Justin Perkins, Jesse Michaels, Hex County. The following stink: NOFX, Kevin Seconds, Pipsqueak, Ann Beretta. Any questions?

Anonymous (July 23, 2003)

the Jesse Michaels song is new, right? The title doesn't sound familiar; the only song I know that sounds accoustic was "Dixie Roadrash" from the Last Wave Rockers LP.

I heart Op. Ivy. Currently rocking out to Downfall bootlegs...

Anonymous (July 23, 2003)

I dunno, I really love this comp. I just wish that Against Me! would've had a new song and that the production on TBIAPB and The Lawrence Arms were better. The Pipsqueak song is making me look forward to their full length.

Anonymous (July 23, 2003)

may i just state the fact that grabass charlestons is poppin them collars with their infectious punk???


funkisdead (July 23, 2003)

man, gunmoll are fucking cool.

Anonymous (July 23, 2003)

assuck should of been on this.

Anonymous (July 23, 2003)

that rating is for sickboi's stupid joke

Anonymous (July 23, 2003)

I still say it shoulda been called "Experiments in Pocket Rocketry".


Anonymous (July 23, 2003)

The Fifth Hour Hero track is the best on the whole compilation, trust me

TheOneTrueBill (July 23, 2003)

I absolutly love Kevin Second's voice

Anonymous (July 23, 2003)

yeah, bren was talking about the shitty recording a while back, that's a damn shame.. larry arms have a goddamn alchemy factory for songwriting, it's all golden, baby!

-el vaquero
i wish i got more sleep

Anonymous (July 23, 2003)

little labels = little money = little unreleased songs

Anonymous (July 23, 2003)

is the against me! song an acoustic version of pints of guiness...?

maverick (July 22, 2003)

Nope, it's a really poor quality demo that Brendan recorded in his living room. It's an alright song hindered by a terrible recording.


Anonymous (July 22, 2003)

is the Lawrence Arms track an old song?

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