Various - 50 [12-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


50 [12-inch] (2010)


The modestly titled 50 is a pop-punk compilation put out by the Netherlands' Stardumb Records. Never heard of them? Well, 50 would seem like a good opportunity, commemorating the label's 50th release and marking one of its most significant collections.

All of the bands heard here come from Stardumb's formidable roster of releases, which includes big names like the Groovie Ghoulies and Zatopeks, as well as some of the most offensive and/or sexist releases since the Dwarves (see the Nerds' ...Just Because She Didn't Wanna Fuck or the split EP Beating Up Schoolgirls). This compilation is rather innocuous in comparison, therefore rendering discussion of the album's music the chief purpose of this review.

Each band here contributes one new song as well as a cover of a song previously released on Stardumb. Side A is all covers, and includes a nice ‘50s surf take on the Groovie Ghoulies classic "Running with Bigfoot" by Peawees, and an excellent cover of the Favorats' "Surfin' Surfin'" by the Apers. The best of the covers is the Manges taking on "Say Goodbye to You" by the Methadones in all its American pop-punk glory.

Side B is all original tunes, which is pretty impressive for a compilation. Among the standouts here are Zatopeks' "Buddy Holly's Grandchildren," the Accelerators' "Gate Shut Panic" and the Windowsill's "She Wasn't Lying." The Manges and the Apers also both contribute sterling selections to the set of originals, which should be no surprise to those familiar with either band.

There's a handful that don't do a lot for the album's replay value, such as the lo-fi garage of the Dirtshakes and El Pino and the Volunteers. Even Kepi Ghoulie's songs aren't terribly engaging, though much like Kevin Seconds and Matt Skiba, it's often hard to go without comparing acoustic material to the celebrated work of their bands.

Fans of pop-punk will find plenty to like on 50, with insanely catchy numbers by bands like the Apers, Zatopeks, and the Manges. There's a little fluff here and there, but overall 50 delivers a nice sample platter of what Stardumb has to offer.