Various - 2013 Digital Sampler (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


2013 Digital Sampler (2013)

Broken English

Those days when the Warped Tour was actually good seem so far away. The last time a Warped Tour compilation really struck home for me was probably 2006. Since then, it's these label samplers that seem to bring out the best assortment of punk, post-hardcore and pop-punk bands around. Broken English Record's 2013 sampler proves no different as it highlights a lot of bands that show enormous promise for the future and it's pretty sweet to listen to an album with barely any misses.

Nightmare For A Week open the sampler with a wonderful tease of their new album coming later this year with "The Destroyers." Its message of positivity sets the upbeat tone for the rest of the record and the momentum is carried over brilliantly by Jaguar Shark's "Banned From The Fest" and Fort Street's "Heaven Sent." They produce bouts of pop-punk, done just right for the listeners, and with No Trigger's "Checkmate" thrown in the mix to ramp things up the variety offered on the opening tracks lays a grand foundation of things to come.

It really played off like a great Warped Tour comp as Broken English seemed to carefully assemble something they knew would kick ass and take names. There's a sense of pop nostalgia throughout, with the bands' refining of the punk genre on tap but still a sense of the contemporary flair and post-hardcore tinges they all stitched in. Useless ID charm with the energetic "What Are The Odds?" and this stands out the most on the album. The technical craftsmanship of all the bands are at the forefront in the sense that they all brought their A games, as if this was a big display for their talent to be shown. And that's exactly why this comp speaks volumes and flows so well.

Coasta add that breath of respite with the calmer "Sunzal," and by the time the likes of Man Overboard and Pentimento add to the album's caliber, you're still saturated by all the earlier, and lesser-known bands, that plowed through the album so well. The latter bands don't rest on their laurels, of course, as they increase the record's quality, but it's awesome to see "smaller" bands deliver so soundly. Knuckle Puck signify this record best though; "Give Up" is frenetic and in its glorious, melodic punk vibe, it sums up the gist here - Don't hold back and go for broke. That's what every single band did and this sampler benefitted greatly. It's a marvelous showcase.