Wow. Talk about a compilation. Asian Man and Sub City, in support of their national Plea For Peace/Take Action Tour [which wrapped up Sunday], released this 23 track CD featuring the best and brightest in music today. If that's not enough, the majority of bands contribute either unreleased, live, or rare [i.e. vinyl only] tracks. Let's take a look at the highlights:
Alkaline Trio - My Standard Break From Life: from their Hell Yes 7". I used to hate this song completely. For whatever reason, as soon as I heard it on here, I fell in love with it. It's almost like a 60s pop song, ala early Beatles or the Monkees. Seriously. It's a great opener, especially for those of you who are without record players.
Hot Water Music - Dreamworld: it's a cover of an old Midnight Oil song, and to be honest, it fucking rocks. Way better than their Government Issue cover on the Living Tomorrow Today comp.
Thrice - To What End: Now I see what all the fuss is about. A track off their album "Identity Crisis," and it smokes. I think their bass player is completely insane. I need to get their CD pronto.
Thursday - Autobiography of a Nation [live]: This is a great song, and when it's live there's none of that lame reverb/echo that exists all over their album Full Collapse. Thumbs up.
DIllinger Escape Plan - Mullet Burden [live]: Insane. Simply insane. DEP will knock you for a loop, even on recording. Wicked metalcore.
The [International] Noise Conspiracy - Abolish Work: also available on their first album The First Conspiracy, this song is an ass shaker that makes you think from start to finish.
Seam - Inching Towards Juarez: sandwiched in between all these punk and hardcore bands, Seam really makes a lasting impression with their patented slow-core sound. Oh yeah, it's also unreleased. Bonus.
The thing about this comp is, even after all those standout songs, the majority of the rest are still great. There's unreleased tracks from Atom and His Package, Grade, Suicide Machines, Mike Park, and more. Even some of the bands I don't really care for [i.e. AFI, Good Riddance] contribute songs that, while it won't make me rush out and buy their latest album, they will at worst pass by unnoticed, and at best get a smile and some head bobs from me. The only real duds are the following:
Swingin' Utters - Heroes of the Corner Bar: this song just sounds really cheesy and dumb. Of course, maybe all their songs sound like this, I can't really remember another Utters song off the top of my head.
Zero Zero - Hello, How Are You it's bad techno. Seriously. That's all it is, for 3 or 4 minutes. Ari, wise up and get Lifetime back together. Zero Zero is just that.
Link 80 - The Last Time: why won't these guys break up? Of course, if they did, they'd probably each start a band that is as bad, if not worse, than this insanely shitty ska/punk band. Ugh.
So out of 28 tracks, you get 18 rare or unreleased ones, and only 3 songs total are worth pressing the deadly "skip" button. I think that's good odds. And considering this comp is only 5 or 6 dollars, how on earth can you go wrong? Something like 10% of every sale goes toward the National Hopeline Network [1-800-SUICIDE], so that's just one more reason to shell out some cash for this great benefit compilation.