Various - Sample This, Too! (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Sample This, Too! (2002)


Most compilations don't have a lot of planning put into them. I'll argue that the best comps pay attention to theme and arrangement, but the majority of low-price label samplers tend to be patchy catalogues of a label roster rather than cohesive albums. "Sample This, Too!" avoids the common pitfalls, which probably has less to do with planning and more with the fact that BYO's built one of the most solid rosters of bands in punk music today. 

There's a ton of unreleased material on this sampler. The Unseen contribute the scathing "Don't Look Back," which reminds me a lot of the Nerve Agents. Youth Brigade steals the show with the gruff and catchy-as-hell "No Difference Anyway." The track proves the brothers Stern still have it in them, their new full length should be a blast. Pistol Grip contributes "Black Heart," and for a young band they hold their own quite well against the big guns on the album. I've never liked One Man Army in the past, but their track "Victoria" is ridiculously catchy and has the biggest sing along chorus the band could muster. The Beltones contribute "Come Back," which sounds like a more tuneful and coherent version of Leatherface. The amazing Forgotten continue to rule the universe with "Respect & Lies" from their upcoming full length. The band's songwriting gets better and better with each release. The only track that didn't excite me too much was Manic Hispanic's "Lupe I'm Free," but to each his own…

Most anticipated however are the samples from the fourth installment of BYO's split series. The Bouncing Souls kick things off with "No Security," which is easily the fastest, angriest Souls song in recent memory. Anti-Flag, who I usually avoid at all costs, contributes "No borders No nations" with Chris #2 on vocals. I surprisingly liked this track, so I'm hoping their material on the split is up to par. 

The album's full of good tracks from recent releases as well. From Kosher's sing along "Robot" to Sixer's anthem "Hero," Manifesto Jukebox's intense "No Love Lost," Leatherface's "Andy" and the acoustic "Killing Kind" from the Filthy Thieving Bastards. Rancid and NOFX contribute "Vanilla Sex" and "Corazon De Oro" respectively, but the novelty of these covers is starting to wear a bit thin. 

BYO's signed a lot of bands in the past year and have built one of the strongest, most unquestionably "punk rock" rosters of any label. A breath of fresh air compared to the boring, tepid output that many labels have been pushing lately.