Various - The Only Constant Is Change (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


The Only Constant Is Change (2004)


I was not looking forward to reviewing this, and thus, it is being reviewed six months after its release (in all fairness, I didn't even receive it for review until two months after its release). A compilation is a tough review in the first place. How do you rate a CD that will most likely have tracks differing greatly in quality and style? And how can you properly research all those different bands? You can't. Second, it's two long discs, so just to listening to it all once through takes two and a half hours. Third, it's Volcom, a label that is home to only one band I like, Vaux, and looking at the back it seems most the bands I have even heard of are punk bands I haven't listened to since high school. But here goes nothing.

Out of the 46 tracks, 36 are unreleased, live, or rare, so that makes it a better buy off the bat if you like the bands. The overall sound on here is punk and hardcore with just a little emo, there is not too much indie or dance rock or anything like that. Let's get to it.

Best tracks:

Disc 1

Rise Against - "Obstructed View" - I'm not huge into this band, but I'll definitely take them over most of this stuff. A solid track; typical Rise Against being powerful yet with a decent melody. This track is unreleased, and it appears to be a B-side from 2001's The Unraveling.

ASG - "Destination Motel Mind Decay" - This didn't catch me at first, as the riffage just sounded like any other metal-core-whatever band, but then a fun tight riff came up and caught my attention. Plus, they say "sex explosion" and have HIM-style vocals in the middle, which is funny. I had never heard of them before, and it wasn't bad; I actually repeated the track.

Vaux - "Switched On (Radio Edit)" - It's one of the best tracks on here for sure, but it's just a radio edit of a good track off their full-length. There isn't much difference.

Strung Out - "Velvet Alley [live]" - This track was definitely one I was looking forward to, but that's because I never got their Live In A Dive album, which this is taken from.

Brazil - "Paradise And Iron" - I had never heard that much of Brazil, and it's true what I've heard: they are ATDI ripoffs. It's a good unreleased song though.

Turbonegro - "Ride With Us" - Yes, it's just the album version from Scandinavian Leather, but I needed a good song by the time I got around the end of disc one, and this was it.

Disc 2

Single Frame - "Burn Radio Airtest" - Starting off disc two is a decent track by another band I hadn't heard, Single Frame, with their unreleased contribution, which is some sort of new wave synths meet Fugazi mishmash; I liked it.

Piebald - "There And Back Again" - Nothing in the liner notes indicates when this was recorded or what it was taken from. It seems to be newer, because their pop skills are developed, so it's probably a B-side from We Are the Only Friends that We Have and while it is a highlight on this comp, it's definitely a B-side for them.

Beehive & The Barracuda's - "Surfing With Dick" - An odd track that seems to be jammed out, a groove with bizarre male and female vocals, organ noises, and a thumping drum beat; it's almost a B-52's song from their debut.

Maxeen - "Take The Weight Off" - Straight from their self-titled album, but was very welcome after going through nine tracks of uninteresting stuff. Nothing else from the second disc is worth mentioning.

Worst tracks

theLine - "Buck Shot" - Awkward style changes and a really annoying guitar effect that comes up a bunch.

Guttermouth - "New Wave Haircut" - this band was only good for one thing: being funny. This track is not, or maybe it is, but I can't understand the vocals, with no help from the poor production.

Pennywise - "My Own Country (Live)" - I had not listened to these guys since early high school and I would have liked to have kept it that way. This appears to be an unused track from their album Live At The Key Club.

Intoxicated - "Get Real" - Oh god, shit hardcore. Please "Get Gone."

Consumers - "Registered Trademark" - Words cannot explain the terribleness of this track; it should have stayed unreleased.

MYG (aka sinistapushaman) - "Holla At You Boy" - Offering the lone hip-hop track on the comp, I guess it's not so much that this is one of the worst tracks, it just sticks out like a sore thumb and I'm not sure why it's on here.

That wraps it up. I would not recommend this, for even the better tracks are nothing spectacular and the best are already available somewhere else. This was quite a rough and lengthy listening experience for me and I would not wish it upon anyone.