Various - Punk-O-Rama 8 (Cover Artwork)


Punk-O-Rama 8 (2003)


First off, I was planning on writing this review for a long time now; I just got around to it tonight. This is not a reactionary review, but I do promise no stabs at pretension, sarcasm, or any humor in general. This is a summing up combined with a jigger or so of my opinion and commentary: some call it a review.

First Disc

The first disc starts off with a track from the Distillers, a good introductory track to the label, the compilation, and the band. Like most songs on this album, this truly displays what a band sounds like, however the only Distillers song I truly like is "Ask The Angels." This is not a bad song; it's just… eh… After that comes Motion City Soundtrack, who probably should've gotten the first song on this disc as they make you sit the fuck up and listen to their moog. This is melodic, fast-paced, and very, very good. This is the state of "punk rock" these days, not bad from the sounds of it. After that is Hot Water Music contributing one of their best tracks I've ever heard from them. If you like the sound they've been bringing for their past couple albums, you'll definitely like this track, a little popped out, but incredibly solid. Yes, the Rancid track signifies one of the major problems with this comp: this is a really old track and just about everybody who knows Rancid knows this track, it's still a good example of the old Rancid, let's just hope no one picks up Rancid (2000) based off of this. The Bouncing Souls track is everything you'd expect from them, it's good, it's not groundbreaking, but it's really good. It's nice to have some things you can always back on as dependable in the music scene where bands constantly try and one-up each other's sound. Matchbook Romance... cough…. if you don't know about this band yet, they are a truly strange signing for Epitaph, they are trendy, they are sugary, they have a guy screaming during the chorus. Moving on, NOFX tries to bring things back to normal, this sounds just like NOFX and it's a definite showing of the overt politics on the new album, good stuff going on musically. The Bad Religion tracks on this comp are both really great; their new album is going to be just as solid as The Process of Belief was. The second section of this CD is where they stuffed all the bands they didn't really know what to do with, there is Hardcore, Garage, Underground Hip-Hop, and…. Blues? The DOLL track is a strange pick, this is the most low-key track on the album, I would've thought that "Need To Get Some" would've been the obvious choice, seeing as it was the first single, had a great video, and is a good introduction to a good band. Oh, well, still a good song. Ikara Colt puts in "Sink Venice" which I was really surprised at, I've heard some terrible things about this band, but this is just a god-damn good song. Some people say this is "art punk," for an actual description, it's hugely up-tempo Garage, just try walking around busy streets listening to this song, you'll love it too. I'm not a fan of F-Minus personally, but this sounds like their general stuff, if you dig it, you dig it. Sage Francis is definitely a new direction for Epitaph, if you visit the comments page for this comp on their site, you'll see thousands of little punkers with sticks up their asses, not believing that their beloved Mr. Brett would try to expose them to new styles of music. If you can get over yourself, you'll realize that Sage Francis is incredibly talented and this just might be the future. I can hope can't I? The (International) Noise Conspiracy sounds like themselves, if you've heard them; you probably know this song, if you haven't heard them before, now you have. They usually branch out a little bit more, but this is just their sound, no frills. Closing up the disc are Randy and The Black Keys, both are incredibly solid if you like either sound (groovy Little Richard-inspired Garage-Punk and high distortion, low fidelity Blues-Garage, respectively). Personally, I think "A Man in Uniform would've been a better for track for Randy, but I've got no big problems with "Welfare Problems."

Second Disc

The Death By Stereo opener is serviceable, a little too melodic to really show what they sound like (go pick up their first album instead of this comp), but that's just like all four of the tracks of theirs that Epitaph has put on their comps, I think the Matchbook Romance song is the most screaming I've ever heard out of the Punk-O-Rama comps (disregarding Zeke and Straight-Faced who both kick ass and should still be putting out music on the label). Refused, finally, they put out some old Refused on here. Refused are my favorite band, so I'm pretty sure you can already tell what I think of this track. Fucking genius. Pennywise: you love them or you hate them. I hate them. I've never been a big fan of the Dropkick Murphys post-Mike McColgan, I dunno, their sound went in a direction that I have never been able to adjust to. Personally, I love Atmosphere, this is not a good track for it's purposes, if you know Atmosphere, well, this is a really strange song for Slug and the gang, good, but strange. The Tubonegro track here shows exactly what's going on with the new album, it's still Trubonegro, but it's not Apocalypse Dudes-level stuff here. Tiger Army is the (sadly) only appearance of Psychobilly for this comp, and it's a great song, since they haven't been on a Punk-O-Rama disc before, this is a great introduction to the band. Millencolin, Pulley, and Guttermouth, all have tracks that are nothing new to report, if you're a fan, then you will like the tracks (believe me, I do). Here now we come to the funeral of a once-great band, over the last few years I've gotten to be a huge fan of Bombshell Rocks, their first two albums were incredibly kinetic and melodically brilliant. Now, we come to their third album, a major disappointment, a purchase I still regret, even if I only paid five dollars. Yet, this is one of the better tracks on that album, proceed with caution. Next up, a much needed kick in the pants, Raised Fist is one of my favorite Hardcore groups out there and this song is just really good (would've been even better if I hadn't been listening to it for half a year already, but that's the story with most of these tracks). No Fun At All is a classic band, thus the material here is a little dated, back when it was still OK to like Skate-Punk. Great stuff if you grew up on this music, the perfect representation of Punk in the 90's. The U.S. Bombs are the sole showing of Street Punk on here, though it is a great representation, if you like this band or the genre, you will love the song. Covert Action is a great album as well. Bad Religion rounds out the compilation (in my mind), with a stunner, "Shattered Faith." I've heard that the band were not pleased with this song, but I'm not sure, I think this song is huge. Bad Religion proves that they have two songs on here not because the guitar player owns the label, but because they fucking deserve it.

Extras: A cool video from Death By Stereo, of Wasted Words, their song on the last comp. Whoops! The artwork is very cool, as to be expected from a label with that much money. Oh, yeah, the Transplants are on here too…. um…. yeah…..

Track Listing:

Disc 1
1. The Distillers - I Am A Revenant MP3
2. Motion City Soundtrack - Don't Call It a Comeback MP3
3. Hot Water Music - Trusty Chords MP3
4. Rancid - As Wicked
5. Bouncing Souls - New Day
6. Matchbook Romance - The Greatest Fall (Of All Time)
7. NOFX - The Idiots Are Taking Over
8. Bad Religion - Who We Are
9. Division Of Laura Lee - Trapped In
10. Ikara Colt - Sink Venice MP3
11. F-Minus - Sweating Blood MP3
12. Sage Francis - Makeshift Patriot
13. The (International) Noise Conspiracy - A New Morning, Changing Weather
14. Randy - Welfare Problems MP3
15. The Black Keys - Thickfreakness MP3

Disc 2
1. Death By Stereo - Unstoppable MP3
2. Refused - Coup d'etat MP3
3. Pennywise - Holiday In The Sun
4. Dropkick Murphys - Gonna Be A Blackout Tonight
5. The Transplants - Quick Death
6. Atmosphere - Bird Sings Why The Caged I Knows
7. Tiger Army - Incorporeal MP3 - Video
8. Turbonegro - Train Of Flesh MP3
9. Guttermouth - Contribution
10. Millencolin - Bowmore
11. Pulley - The Ocean Song MP3
12. Bombshell Rocks - Warpath
13. Raised Fist - Get This Right! MP3
14. No Fun At All - Lose Another Friend
15. U.S. Bombs - Roll Around MP3
16. Bad Religion - Shattered Faith MP3
17. Error - Quick Death (Remix)