Now just to clear up any confusion, this CD was released under No Reason Booking with four of the bands on the roster, not on their label No Reason Records. Now that there shouldn't be any confusion, a little introduction will be necessary. No Reason Booking is the main Italian punk/ska booking group and I love Italian punk rock and this CD's a pretty good reason why (any form of pun is unintended but would be rather comical).
The first four tracks are by Carry-All who I would class as the Italian Mad Caddies. However, they are from the northeast section of Italy about 40km from the Slovenian border in a city called Udine (also known as Udinese) so they don't observe the sunlight the Caddies will enjoy most of the time. Immediately with the first track "Charlie Jazz" there is a resemblance to "Monkeys" and the circus-y, fun-sounding horns and also a vocalist similar to Chuck, only with an Italian accent. However, I'm making them sound like the Mad Caddies, and while they're very similar, they possess more of a Less Than Jake-esque (pre-Anthem) party chorus sound. If you enjoy the Mad Caddies, you should enjoy Carry-All's songs, but many would argue that you may as well listen to the Mad Caddies. I'll listen to both and enjoy both as Carry-All do also contain their own sound. "Stupid White Men" has a European ska-core sound, which most of us into ska enjoy.
Out of Date are the first band I heard out of the four on this, playing melodic skatepunk in Milan, a genre that many European bands are still playing and many still enjoying. Out of Date are not the next big thing, nor an incredible band but they play punk rock. No focus on making it technical, despite their sound being so simple, it isn't easy to find bands playing it straight up without trying to add fancy riffs. Sure, much of the music I listen to is technical in various ways but simply playing the style isn't an option many bands choose. The basic point is that it is simple skatepunk to be enjoyed in the summer.
Killjoy make me think of a lighter and more friendly Good Riddance. Again similar to Out of Date, they possess a friendly punk rock sound that tended to 'rule' the scene in the late `90s. The level of simplicity though is too high; it's a style I've heard before and it makes it boring. To say it's a copy of past music though would be unfair, as it isn't, but it's too close to a simple collection. It's not a band that you would focus on amongst others; it's a band one would feature on a playlist whilst doing something fun (like reviewing a CD on Punknews.org; now I await the ROTFLOL-ings).
Finally, Garretti from the "city of canals," Venice. The band's influences really put me off (several being: Funeral for a Friend, Thursday, Thrice, Strung Out, Taking Back Sunday, My Chemical Romance) making me think this could sound pretty nasty. However, I really like Garretti, who combine a traditional melodic punk sound with emotional sounding lyrics. I barely understand the lyrics; I'm lucky to manage singing along to a line without quietly hoping no one heard that disaster, and I think that's one of the key reasons I enjoy them so much. It's a change; I find the Italian language to be fun, as i'm quite into Italian culture (their music scene heavily and football) and i'm jealous of the weather they get.
For a cheap and good entry to getting into and finding bands in the Italian scene, this CD is perfect, and put out by good, hard-working guys and with some of the best Italian talent and some of Europe's best.
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