Various - The Streets We Walk (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


The Streets We Walk (2007)

Fist City

The Streets We Walk is an extremely decent and pretty diverse compilation that only throws on one big name and actually attempts to get some smaller bands some recognition. There's one terribly disagreeable aspect about it that's clouding my judgment, but we'll get to that later.

The fun, assuredly No Idea-esque "Mercenary" from Stranger on a Train opens it up in a rough, rugged fashion. Stranger on a Train seem like no stranger to the gravelly, upbeat sing-alongs that would fit right in with Latterman, early Against Me! and Hot Water Music's happiest moments. Next is Consider the Source, a band whose EP I reviewed recently; their contribution is the dynamic, creative post-hardcore cut "Fante."

Other standouts include Landmines' "First Chords" -- even if this is top serious Avail Jr. stuff, it's really, really well-done. Mike Federali has the rough punk of "Lace Up" and its painfully catchy refrain of "lace up the concrete!" (or something). There's also Git Some who surprisingly wield a noisy, spazz-core number in "Glowing Shadows." Worn in Red do a weird Planes Mistaken for Stars-meets-proto-screamo deal for "Agenbite of Inwit." Signal to Home add one of their few rare gems to the comp with "A History of Choices... (What We've Become)" and its Jawbreaker-esque guitar tones. The frantic indie rock of Cinemachanica's "Ants in Ja Pants" sure makes its mark. Oh, and that one big name is Chuck Ragan, responsible for the live cut of "For Broken Ears" that comes from his recent SideOneDummy debut, Los Feliz; obviously, it's one of Streets' best tracks.

So why am I a little enraged? This thing is 10 fucking dollars! Yeah, post-paid, but it's a fucking CD-R in a slimline case. (And shit, look below, you can stream almost every song on the bands' respective MySpace pages.) Even if my copy is a mere promo of a better packaged retail version, I can't see someone ably justifying charging 10 dollars for a 12-song compilation unless said compilation was titled Various Songs You Didn't Know Fugazi Has Been Recording Since 2002 or something. Seriously. 10 fucking dollars!

So, yeah, The Streets We Walk is solid, no question. But there's no way I can say it's worth the price of admission.

Stranger on a Train - Mercenary
Consider the Source - Fante
Old Habits & the Diehards - Drunk Dialing
Mike Federali - Lace Up
Chuck Ragan - For Broken Ears (live)
Landmines - First Chords
Worn in Red - Agenbite of Inwit
Siren Street Shutdown - Close Up (demo)
The Stones We Throw - Gauging You