Various - Broken Lamps And Hardcore Memories Vol. 2 (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Broken Lamps And Hardcore Memories Vol. 2 (2004)


We need an authority who decides who will be allowed to put out compilations. Not necessarily anything too formal, certainly not a government body, but an authority nonetheless. They can live a solitary monk-like existence and raise abandoned children in their craft so we'll always have some of these folks around. Then they can spend their days guarding the entrance to the bridge and ask a series of questions that are required to cross. Then each person planning to release a comp has justify why theirs is necessary. Based on their answers they'll either cross or be cast into the Chasm of Doom. Answer wisely and the bridge keeper will let you cross and you can make your comp.

"Do you care about the sequencing of your record?"

No? Into the abyss with ye.

"Will this be a shameless cash grab featuring of the biggest name acts of the day?"

Yes? Into the abyss with ye.

"Will anyone want to listen to this 6 months from now?"

And so forth... while I doubt we'd get any more Warped Tour or Atticus compilations with this rule set, folks like Jordan Baker would stroll right over that chasm and for that reason you should give his Broken Lamps And Hardcore Memories series a look.

While amount of unreleased material seems to be our benchmark for how worthwhile a release is, that's really a false indicator. Most comps I've kept for unreleased material I've disposed of once I could find the single or b-sides collection where that song also exists. You can expect kids on peer to peer networks to be far less merciful. Broken Lamps is almost entirely comprised of previously released studio cuts yet it's quite an engaging listen nonetheless. What matters in the end, and this should be more obvious than it is, is the sequencing and the flow, those little things that mixtape nerds obsess over and most high profile comps fail miserably at.

It's something that Mr. Baker has obviously put some care into and it shows. I like the pause between the end of The Distance's "And I Have Begun The Longest Year Ever" and the opening riff of A Wilhelm Scream's "The Rip." Sure, I've heard "The Rip" eight hundred times, but in this context it fits and that's what matters. Anyone who reads Pastepunk knows Jordan's tastes lean towards the heavier end of the spectrum and he's likewise delivered a good mix of melodic hardcore and more metal-influenced cuts. This leads to some pretty killer groups of songs, like the punishing batch of Martyr AD / Devilinside / Twelve Tribes / Since By Man followed by more punk-minded luminaries like Love Me Destroyer, Anthym and Death By Stereo. The most theatrical track is left to the end, as Glass Casket wraps things up with the epic "In Between The Sheets."

Broken Lamps And Hardcore Memories is essentially a mixtape of one person's favourite tunes from across the punk / hardcore / metal spectrum. I can think of no better introduction to the heavier side of the genre than this, certainly none that are this solidly put together.