Indymedia is an underground news organization with local chapters in over 35 countries. Their stories cover events most often passed over by mainstream media outlets. With hundreds of journalists who work strictly from first-hand experience, Indymedia strives for “the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of truth.” This Just In… is a benefit for the local chapters that offers 29 (30 if you count the intro) unreleased, rare or vinyl-only tracks, and while the cause may be good, the music isn’t always.
The CD starts off strong with “Pave the Bay,” a screamy punk song by the Tim Version, and the Screeching Weasel-like “Birds in Catsuits” by Toys That Kill. After that comes the first slop-fest of the comp in the form of Killer Dreamer’s “Unpredictable.” The song is a live number from a radio show and comes off like the band are intentionally going for an annoying tone.
The problem with unreleased and/or rare tracks is that often they are unreleased or rare for a reason. The Leeches' “Rattlesnake Island” is a great example. It is a live track that sounds like it was recorded on a boombox. The cymbal crashes sound horrendous and the track itself is a minute-and-a-half long instrumental that just seems completely pointless. Same can be said for the track that follows it, Passporte’s “Do What is Right, Only to Get Burned.” What you get here is ten seconds of speaking from a guy who sounds like Adam from Atom and His Package followed by 50 seconds of bad electronic music. Peelander-Z’s “O.B.K” is almost unlistenable thanks to the fact that the levels are all way too high and a fuzzy mess of noise accompanies everything, while the Spunks' “Roadrunner” is a rockabilly track whose only vocals are “Meep, meep.” I could go on about some of the horrible tracks here, but that may be misleading considering that there is plenty of great material to be found on This Just In…
On the first half of the disc, besides the two openers, you get a great old-school sounding number from Four Deadly Questions, a stripped-down filthy rocker by way of the Fleshies, and a track that recalls early post-punk acts like Gang of Four and Mission of Burma from the Geisha Girls. The second half features Intro5pect’s “For Blood, Under God,” which is a fast sing-along punk number that sounds like Anti-Flag if they employed some electronic elements into their sound, a darker pop-punk song from Enemy You, and the blistering “Question Belonging” by East Arcadia. This song is one of the live tracks that work well. The band play technical skatecore in the vein of Bigwig or A Wilhelm Scream, and the guitarists pull off some great riffing. Again, I could go on about the worthwhile songs here, but there are too many to mention.
$9 is a bit of hefty price tag for a compilation, but this is for a good cause, and while only 15 or so tracks out of the 30 are worth hearing, that is still 15 quality tracks.