Various - How We Rock (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


How We Rock (2002)

Burning Heart

This compilation assembled by Peter Ahlqvist (Burning Heart Records executive), shows that the guy really knows what is going on in punkrock world (with the emphasis on "rock"). Because this is truely an amazing mix of bands, both Scandinavian and North-American, that besides being underrated too much too often have one thing in common: they represent an era of pure, elementary "rock" in a non-bullshitting and unfashionable manner. Come to think of it, I remember writing in my review of the latest Midtown album that these guys "rocked", but I have to say that the meaning of that word in that particular review has a totally different meaning than the true definition of it. This disc however is the best definition you could give for that important word in music.

I must confess that apart from The New Bomb Turks, The Hives, Randy, Rocket From The Crypt, The Dwarves and The Supersuckers I haven't bought releases from any of these bands earlier, so I can't really speak for all the bands on this disc, but judging on the songs that were presented here and my knowledge of the before mentioned bands I can only tell you that you shouldn't buy this to discover the next poppunk, hardcore, Ska or catchy and hooky SoCal-band. This is simply pure and raw most of the time, but don't be mistaken; these bands are the cream of the crop in this branch.

There's speedy stuff in the likes of Zeke and Puffball, unpretentious and well-mouthed female rock from the Donnas and Sahara Hotnights, the garagy sound of the restless New Bomb Turks (my favorites in this genre), a more traditional approach by The Gotohells and Peepshows, political engaged tunes of The (Int) Noise Conspiracy, no-nonsense blatant music from long existing Dwarves and Supersuckers. The Hives are maybe the odd one out here, not because of their sound but because they surely go through a period of hype right now thanks to their phenomenal album "Veni Vidi Vicious", from which this song is one of their hitsingles. Randy's song Cheater is taken from a very recently released MCD. And there's also Rocket From The Crypt with their infectious hooky stuff supported with a horn-section. And there's a lot more...

All this comes with a truely amazing packaging and liner-notes by Mike LaVella from Gearhead Magazine. This could well be the perfect opportunity for those of you (like me) who never really were into this genre except for the well-known bands to get acquainted with some more of these bands. I surely have been pleasantly surprised by some of them. Unfortunately for those who are into these bands there are no unreleased tracks available, but I guess you have to be even a bigger freak than me to own even more than half of these albums that these songs were taken from.