Various - As A Matter Of Fact (Cover Artwork)


As A Matter Of Fact (1998)


There are two different versions of this compilation. One, released on Bad Taste Records, has three songs each from (The Almighty) Trigger Happy, Good Riddance, Satanic Surfers, and Ill Repute. The second version, released on Fearless, contains all of the above as well as three Strung Out songs. This is the one I have and the one I will be reviewing (although I suppose anyone whishing to read a review of the Bad Taste version can ignore the last paragraph). I'll reveiw this the only way I can think of - by going through each band's contribution independantly.

First off is Trigger Happy (R.I.P.). They contribute three typical Trigger Happy songs, full of sound and bursting with energy. Included in these is one of my favourite songs of all time, "Blood Red and Forever Blue". I don't think this shows up on any T.H. album, but it appears on numerous other comps. Just this one song makes the CD worth the $5 it costs to order from Fearless. The other two songs "Died Trying" and "Suprise, Suprise" are also quite good, and I'm sure any fan of Trigger Happy won't be dissapointed.

Good Riddance makes a strong showing with their three songs, showcasing their musical diversity. "Holding On" should already be familiar to Good Riddance fans, as it appears on Ballads from the Revolution. This is the So-Cal skate punk with an edge that got them on FAT in the first place. One of thier best songs, in my opinion. "What we have" shows the hardcore side of GR that we don't see often enough, although without the screamed vocals that show up sometimes (example: their contribution to Short Music for Short People. That's just weird). "Lame Duck Arsenal" is another skate-punk song, but a bit lighter than "Holding On". This one sounds like it belongs on A Comprehensive Guide to Moderne Rebellion. The weakest of the three, but still a decent song.

The Satanic Surfers are one of my favourite bands, and don't disappoint here. This was released between the Surfers's albums 666 Motor Inn and Going Nowhere Fast, and musically, that's right where these songs should be placed. The straight-ahead skate punk and driving bass lines that made Motor Inn so good are here, as well as the lighther sound and tightness of Going Nowhere... "Sail Away" is easily one of the best Surfers songs, and it alone would make this CD worth $5 (I'm only slightly annoyed they didn't play it live). "Unless We Try/Big Bad Wolf" is another very good song, much like "Sail Away". "Untitled" is an acoustic song, showing us that they do have a lot of songwriting talent. (Note: "Unless We Try/Big Bad Wolf" was re-recorded for Going Nowhere Fast and renamed to simply "Big Bad Wolf". The difference between the two is barely noticable, but I think the album version is faster.)

I'd never heard of Ill Repute before buying this, and haven't heard anything of them since. They bring three songs ("Stuck", "On Your Own", and "Betray") which I can never tell apart. They have a very So-Cal sound, and nothing about them really stands out in my mind. This is probably the weakest part of the CD.

Winding down the CD is Strung Out. Their first song, "Jacqueline" has been recently re-done as "Jacky-O" for The Element of Sonic Defiance. This vesion is a bit faster, and I prefer it to the newer one. This is the high-speed tight sounding Strung Out that made them who they are now. "American Lie" showcases the earlier metal-ish sound of Strung Out. This is taken from the split 7" with Jughead's Revenge, also on Fearless. "Through your Fingers" is taken from their poor excuse for a CD The Skinny Years...Before We Got Fat. This is perhaps the only song worth listening to from that piece-of-shit release (apologies to all big Strung Out fans...I have all their other stuff and really like it!). Overall, three good songs that Strung Out fans shouldn't miss for $5, especially since they don't appear on any albums.

All in all, a very good release, with the only disappointment from Ill Repute. Most of the songs on this CD are rare or unreleased. I highly recommend this to fans of any of these bands, or fans of the FAT/Epitaph style, or big Swedish music fans (like myself). It's a great deal at $5 (did I mention that already?)