Various - Punk-O-Rama 7 (Cover Artwork)


Punk-O-Rama 7 (2002)


How in the hell do you review the punk-o-rama series? Which ones are better than the others? How do they compare with the Fat comps, or other labels? For your convienence, I'm going to try to stay away from answering any of those questions. When I look at a compilation, like the Punk-O-Rama series, I listen to it, trying to expose myself to some new bands. When a track stands out, I'll check the artist out a bit more in-depth. It's how I discovered Refused, back when they had "New Noise" on the series. I've probably discovered a lot more bands that I really like today, but I can't remember.

As far as this CD goes, it's a lot of the same old. Most of the bands I was already pretty familiar with, and there aren't too many standout tracks. The song from International Noise Conspiracy, "Up For Sale", is definitely one of the better tracks on the CD. It stands out because, well, it doesn't sound like every other song on the compilation. The annual NOFX song (you know it - there hasn't been a punk-o-rama without NOFX on it, has there?) happens to be off the split EP with Rancid where they covered each other's songs. That's fine and dandy, although I think I speak for a lot of fans when I wish they put something original on there. It's alright, though. It's not a bad cover. Also, Rancid covers NOFX's 'Bob' on this CD, which I can actually say... uh... isn't the best cover in the world. But I'm biased, as I've never been a huge fan of Rancid (I'm sorry!).

The award for "band I've never heard of but has a kickass song" goes to Division of Laura Lee with their song "Black City". It's definately interesting. Not the most punk sounding song in the world, but definately interesting. Reminded me slightly of Refused, actually.

Other songs of note include "Hooray for Me", by the pop-punkers Pulley (and, by the way, one of the better pop punk bands). "The Defense", one of Bad Religion's more experimental sounding songs, also makes an appearance and is definately one of the best songs on the compilation. The Beatsteaks, which I'd like to hear more of, offer an interesting punk rock song called "God Knows". Musically, it's definitely a tight song. Another song which I really like is the Deviates' "The End".

Overall, this CD doesn't have that quality which says "listen to me constantly", but then again, what compilations really do? It's pretty hard to have a compilation where every single song is so awesome you want to listen to the entire CD over and over again. But then again, is that really the point? I don't think so. If I was Epitaph Records, I would not be disappointed if everyone found three of four bands they didn't know about, and fell in love with them, due to songs on this compilation. That being said, there are no real bad songs that I'd skip when listening to this CD. It's a very solid album, and even though I said I wouldn't compare, I'd have to say this is one of the better compilations put out by Epitaph (in this series, that is), in a while. The last two punk-o-rama's just didn't do it for me.

If you're looking to check out some good quality punk rock, buy this album. It's also great if you don't know a lot of Epitaph bands... but then again, if you do, you're not going to see or hear anything that you wouldn't really expect.