Various - Mayday! (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Mayday! (2002)

Union Label Group

Mayday Records is the newest label imprint from Montreal's Union Label Group. Just as Stromp Records has faithfully documented Canadian ska with their "All Skanadian Club" series, Mayday sets out to collect Oi and street punk from across the nation.

Standouts here include The Class Assassins (who should be the most familiar band abroad from this group), Edmonton's Wednesday Night Heroes, Montreal's anthemic Ripcordz, the celtic-tinged New Breed and the surprising Buzzcocks-flavor of Emergency. The Prowler's "Drunken Skinhead" is a silly yet enjoyable play on the classic sea-shanty "Drunken Sailor." Far more effective is the Angels Saints & Heroes' cover of folk star Gordon Lightfoot's "The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald." If there was ever a working-class song with an instantly recognizable guitar riff to build on, this is it. It's an entirely respectable cover that closes the album on a solemn note.

All in all, there aren't really a lot of weak tracks on here. Street punk is a fairly well defined sound that's quite easily nailed by most of the bands on the record. That also means you shouldn't look for a lot of innovation on this comp. The only real problem here is that the jump between production values from track to track is at times rather abrasive. Of course, if you don't like this style in the first place this album will do nothing to change your mind.

It's not as patchy as similar compilations have been and provides enough charging rhythms and shout-alongs to keep me singing along to songs I don't even know. I'm curious as to which of these bands will end up signed with The Union, but this is the start of yet another respectable endeavor from them.