Various - Unsound [CD/DVD] (Cover Artwork)


Unsound [CD/DVD] (2006)


Do people really buy sampler compilations? I suppose it makes sense if such a thing is available for free on the counter of your local record store. Someone must be purchasing since the labels insist on releasing. Epitaph offers us their version in the guise of Unsound, which replaces its past Punk-O-Rama comps. If nothing else, such collections capture the "hot" sound of a particular era. Right now we're steeped in glossy, over-compressed and Auto-Tuned rock music...not punk or hardcore as the CEOs may want you to believe. What we hear so often and especially on this double CD is plain old rock music, updated for the 21st century with darker bangs and studded belts.

The initial portion of Unsound perhaps purposely revels in such fare. From First to Last, Escape the Fate, Motion City Soundtrack, and Matchbook Romance all meld into on amorphous mass of 4/4 tempos and bombastic vocals that'd make Steven Perry proud. Vanna toss out some quick switches in temperament, with god-awful "singing" into worse "screaming." The second half of the CD offers up more street-cred hardcore with Converge and Some Girls. Then we have the more experimental fare in the hip-hop of Sage Francis and Dangerdoom (both the highlights of this sampler). Bad Religion, Pennywise and the Bouncing Souls appear to remind us of the sound Epitaph once signified in punk.

A DVD accompanies the music, chock full of videos from many of the artists. If any fan needs a reason to buy a CD that features already released songs, a collection of videos may as well do. None of this is to argue that the music found herein is unlistenable. There's a little something in here to satisfy the musical auteur of all things Epitaph. Still, the kids will download it, the videos too thanks to YouTube.