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Battle for the Airwaves Vol. 2: 7” EP

Sub-billed as “West Coast Punk vs. East Coast Oi,” this features tracks by the Workin’ Stiffs, the Bodies, the Templars and the Wretched Ones. It was a tough call, and I don’t deny that I might be more than a tad biased, but my call is that the west coast wins by a nose with tunes that are just a tad more memorable. Recommended.

–jimmy (Radio)

1157 Wheeler Avenue: A Memorial for Amadou Diallo: CD

There is probably no better social reason to make a comp. than for Amadou Diallo, a man, unarmed, who showed no attempt of resistance and was shot nineteen times by New York police who didn't identify themselves. A bullet even entered through the bottom of Diallo's foot (showing that they kept shooting after he was on the ground). The police were acquitted on all charges. A portion of the proceeds of this CD will be donated in Diallo's name to Human Rights Watch to support their ongoing campaign to fight police brutality. That's the good news. The bad news is that the comp.'s very spotty. Highlights are a live version of Strike Anywhere's "Sunset on 32nd" (which fits perfectly and sounds much more snarly than the studio version), Anti-Flag's cover of Mission of Burma's "That's When I Reach for My Revolver," The Arrivals, and The GC5. There's some passable stuff – Munition and Plan A Project. But there's too many dry patches. Fifteen proves another way they can suck more and more, J-Church is as boring as going to real church, as are The 4-Squares and The Methadones. Hey, I really like Youth Brigade, but when the rapping in "Men In Blue" starts, my finger goes for the eject button every time.

–todd (Failed Experiment)

Billy Volume One: CD

A top-notch comp of what I’m assuming are recent shenanigans and goings on in the rockabilly and psychobilly scenes, featuring tracks from a bevy of heavy hitters, including, Deke Dickerson, James Intveld, Big Sandy, Reverend Horton Heat, Demented are Go, Frantic Flintstones, Three Bad Jacks, Os Catalepticos, and an amazing song from the Necromantix, to name but a few. Nary a bad track to be found here and plenty to get your hair piled up over.

–jimmy (Hepcat)

Hardcore Amerika (The Reagan Years – 1st Term): CD

In the time before exceedingly expensive postage, burnable CDs, and the advent of the internet was a flourishing international hardcore tape trading community. Bad Compilation Tapes (or Borderless Counties Tapes), known by most as BCT, were one of the focal points – releasing around twenty-seven international hardcore comps. This here is a fifty-seven song "best of" from two of the releases and it's the first time they've ever officially been on CD, if I'm not mistaken. This one isn't so international. Actually, it's all American, but it gives you a great flavor of the expanse of how wide and far hardcore was embraced with virtually no coverage, after the first couple waves of punk had "died." Constantly underrated and easy-to-not-remember, these bands whipped out choice cuts. Love Canal, Suburban Decay, No Response, Eat The Rich, Accelerators (NJ, not CA), Disorderly Conduct, Psycho, Detention, White Flag, Deranged Diction, Corrupted Service, and Unexpected all stand the test of time. This is just like finding a favorite tape that's been mulching under your car seat for fifteen years. All the tracks do a great job of reminding the listener that hardcore's not as rigid a genre as many make it out to be. Totally worth the scratch.

–todd (Borderless Countries Tapes, Schizophrenic, Enterruption)

Household Name Records of London: A Punkrock, Hardcore, Skacore Compilation: CD

Surprise! It’s crap. Okay, I can think of something nice. The first seventeen seconds of the Fig 4.0 is pretty cool. Everything else blows.

–megan (Household Name)

Pushing Scandinavian Rock to the Man Vol. III: CD

Rockin’, trashy rock’n’roll from Sweatmaster, the Flaming Sideburns, On Trial, the Mutants (not the old Frisco band), the Burnouts and more. There’s more than a slight '60s feel to most of the tracks (although most of the tracks have that overdriven sound popular with the trash rock crowd), with at least one band covering a '60s tune, “Nobody But Me.” On the whole, the tracks are pretty strong and I can’t quite seem to muster much of a complaint, so I reckon that means that this ain’t too shabby.

–jimmy (www.badafro.dk)

The Bosse Sound: Swedish Punk, Hardcore, and New Wave 1979-1986: CD

The title pretty much sums it up. Pretend you've got a short wave radio, a time machine, and a really adventurous, right-on DJ cranking thirty tracks of Swedes playing the gamut from loud, fast, and scratchy to synthesizers a-blazing rock. I'd only heard passing mention of one or two of these bands – like the Meateaters and Zpamhead – but there's not a clunker in the bunch. What's amazing is most of sound quality is through the roof (in a good way) and the Swedes don't put as much strangulation on adjacent genres, so there's a nice cross pollination of really hummy, jangly stuff and straight-ahead fuck you rock. Excellent stuff. Great to put on and have an enjoyable seventy minutes.

–todd (Dionysus)

Shielded by Death: Vol 1: Busted at the Lit: CD

The title hints at what's inside – an almost Killed by Death-flavored comp., but instead of cherry picking obscure bands that released a raging track or two then slipped back into oblivion, this comp focuses on original punk rock from Eastern Connecticut and Western Massachusetts, 1977-1985. Along with the other comp. that Dionysus recently released, The Bosse Sound, it shows the quality of compiler's archival hindsight vision. The fat's cut off, and what you get is twenty-seven tracks full of amplified desperation by no-name bands, all of which probably only played poorly attended gigs. The irony is obvious. This is some killer stuff that lays shame to crap-on-a-stick like the new Vandals, and these songs and bands will probably continue to slip under the radar, almost twenty years after the fact. Cools tracks by all, but my favorites by The Regular Joes, Foreign Objects, the Pajama Slave Dancers, and Chronic Disorder.

–todd (Dionysus)

The Die Has Been Cast: CD

Label samplers like this one for Boxman Records would work best if they were interactive, where you could go in and delete all the tracks that bore you or rub you the wrong way. By nature samplers are – and I’m aware that I’m coming perilously close to quoting Forrest Gump here – like a box of chocolates; you've got some poppy punk mixed in with some hardcore mixed in with some emo, etc.  If I was able to trim the fat from my Boxman sampler CD, here are the bands I’d have left: The Front (fast paced with raspy Distillersish vocals), Big Fat Ass (kind of a heavier Bad Religion), Friendly Fire (‘77 style punk), Stool Sample (trashy hardcore with vocals that are like Good Clean Fun meets GG Allin, if you can imagine that), I Give Up (sloppy riff-heavy with Accused-like vocals), and Torpedo Lucas (a faster, messier Social Distortion.) So, bottom line, if they wanted more than six dollars for this thing, I’d pass.

–aphid (Boxman)

The Necessary Effect:: Screamers Songs Interpreted: 2X CD

Let me begin by saying I hate tribute albums. Nearly all of them serve no purpose other than to embarrass the recorded legacy and insult the good name of the band being paid tribute. Most importantly, they’re a waste of good money that could go toward much more worthy causes, like feeding the homeless, or washing the car. That said, this isn’t too shabby a set here: twenty-nine covers of songs either written or covered by L.A. legends the Screamers, courtesy of Bloodhag, the Cripples, the Miss, the Phantom Surfers, Canned Hamm and oodles of others. Heck, there’s even a couple of tracks here done by former Screamers KK Barrett and Paul Roessler. The thing that makes so many of the covers here work are the Screamers themselves. The original versions of these songs were often so off the wall that they are left open for wide interpretation, ranging from the synth-driven punk the Screamers pioneered (Point Line Plane’s version of “Give the Future a Break”) to the, umm, more ambient end of the spectrum, (Spider Compass Good Crime Band’s take on “Punish or Be Damned”) as well as more “normal” guitar/bass/drums interpretations (Bloodhag’s “If I Can’t Have What I Want,” the Phantom Surfers’ “Eva Braun”). As a tribute, the wide range of styles mined, from new wave to crunchy hardcore punk, is actually more complimentary than detrimental, and it all gels rather nicely instead of collapsing into a pretentious pile of bands trying to outdo each other on the “cool” meter. At worst, you’ll be getting a very eclectic compilation crossing wide swaths of underground music.

–jimmy (www.extravertigo.com)

The Philadelphia Sound: CDEP

From the town that brought us spreadable cheese and a cracked bell, ring out four excellent melodic hardcore bands. Due to the fact that the tracks for each band aren't in clumps, but round robin, it's safe to say they're mining similar territory (loud, fast, catchy, crunchy), but what a great place to lay claim. Pretend you were a kid that didn't let go of a firecracker and it blew off your fingers. The musical equivalent to that would be Kid Dynamite (RIP), from whence these bands were musically or truly spawned. I can't pick a favorite. Paint It Black, imagine if you will, distill Minor Threat down further, to great effect. It's almost like fuck you haiku. The Curse has a bit of delay on the vocals. They're what the last Dag Nasty aerosol cheese of a record prayed it could measure up to. Go! For The Throat have a rollickin' east/west feel, where it their songs are wrecking balls, but they're sweet like a lollipop. Knives Out remind me of my favorite songs in Sick Of It All's soundbook – a couple of buzzsaws and a shouter. Eight songs, just over ten minutes. Philly's kung fu is tight.

–todd (Chunksaah)

Twenty Years of Dischord: 3 X CD

Like the bachelorette said to the male stripper, "My goodness, what an attractive package." It's a three CD set, it's got seventy-three songs, and a 134 page booklet chock full of one of-a-kind pictures. The booklet's cover has two pictures of Ian Mac Kaye and Jeff Nelson (Dischord's two owners) in the exact pose in the same home office, but twenty years apart. (Also, if you look really close, the case box has a ghost image of the Dischord logo on it.) I'd be a king liar if I didn't go directly to disc three, which had twenty-one unreleased tracks by such defining, never-to-be-topped-at-their-own-game bands as The Teen Idles, Minor Threat, Government Issue, Void, Scream, and Faith. It truly is unbelievable how great this stuff sounds, two decades down, and there's new surprises. I'd never even heard of The Rozzlyn Rangers before, whose track is really fun. This disc is not only a document of WashingtonDC's hardcore roots, but a great checking of the national pulse at the time as well. Disc One has material previously released – and, unless you're a total collector kook looking for the Minor Threat 7" with the misspelling of Gary Cousins' name on it – Dischord has been kindly enough to keep their entire catalog in print, readily available, and exceedingly fairly priced. But, since they've been so busy, keeping a constant release schedule, this is a great way to double check if there aren't any bands that have slipped under your radar. I think I'm liking Rites of Spring more now than I ever had. At the end of Disc One and into Disc Two, there's a shift away from hardcore and bands I'm prone to like more, into the more atmospheric, opened up, less meat-head-attracting sounds Dischord has been known for for the last several years, with standout tracks from Fugazi, Jawbox, The Nation of Ulysses, Autoclave, and Slant Six. A DIY best case scenario. It's stuff like this that makes listening to music so worth while. Someone's been doing it so right for so long. That's inspiring in and of itself.

–todd (Dischord)

Undifinable Blows: CD

Two pretty good songs by a rapper surrounded by twelve really bad rock and rapcore songs.

–jimmy (Undifinable)

Your Scene Sucks: CD

Okay, this made me do some math. There’s twenty-eight bands on here and, of those twenty-eight, approximately 3 percent are worth a piss. The remaining 97 percent fall in either the emocore, “hardcore” (read that as “metal for bald people”), and popcore genres. Sounds like a pretty accurate breakdown of the punk thang these days, meaning that I figure if you go out and pick a random release out of a new CD bin at any record store, you have a 97 percent chance of it sucking. Same thing with going to a random punk show on a Saturday night – you have a 97 percent chance that 97 percent of the bands playing at the club are gonna bite the weenie. I like the fact that this is not merely another label sampler disguised as a comp, but I wish they would’ve focused more on finding more of the bands that fall in the “3 percent” pigeonhole instead of being content to bank the marketability of this disc on suck-ass “name” bands. Sorry, but with a 3 percent success rate, your comp sucks.

–jimmy (Go Kart)

Addicted to Oi!: CD
Touted as a new addition to the original oi compilation series, this puppy even includes liner notes by Gary Bushell hisself. Most of the tracks on here are amazingly good, considering how utterly crappy this genre has become, especially in recent years. All of the tracks are new, many are unreleased. In order, Discipline: imagine the Vanilla Muffins with the gruff singer of the 4-Skins up front. Cockney Rejects: Vocals lack the intensity of the first couple o’ albums, but the song itself, a ditty with a requisite chorus that would make a good terrace chant, ain’t too shabby. Argy Bargy: Thought their last album was slightly above okay, but this is a nice bit of virulent viciousness with throat shredding vocals. The Business: Dude, it’s the fucking Business, for chrissakes. Do I really need to rant on about how good this track is? Let’s just say you could sandwich it between any of their “classic” tracks on a mix tape and no one would ever notice. Klasse Kriminale: Loud, brash, brief, up-tempo and melodic in all the right ways. The Filaments: Hate most modern ska anymore, thanks to radio over-saturation, but dug this song lots. Fuck the pigs, indeed. Deadline: Reminds me a little of the old LA band the Eyes, only with louder guitars. Nice ballsy pop with female vocals. Agnostic Front: The story so far: band forms, plays ultra thrash, then bad speed metal, and then reinvents itself yet again as a traditional oi band. To their credit, the song ain’t all that bad, although I still highly doubt I’d buy one of their newer releases. Red Alert: Another classic track from these guys, this a rocker that feels nowhere close to the four minute length it is. Resistance 77: Rough-edged punk with pop hooks up the ass to facilitate singing along while tearing the place apart. Last Resort: Apparently, Roi still has violence on his mind. I was afraid he might’ve gone soft over the years. Menace: Pretty straightforward oi tune. Not bad, but I was expecting more considering the band. Slaughter and the Dogs: Uh, maybe it’s time for another long retirement, guys, ’cause bad glam still ain’t made a comeback and this sure won’t speed up the process. Beerzone: Sounds like early Test Tube Babies, which is by all means a compliment. Blood Brothers: Sounds like “Guns for the Afghan Rebels”/”Lust for Glory”-era Upstarts, which makes perfect sense considering it features Mensi and Cast Iron. Crashed Out: The piano solo, a piss-take of the “Halloween” theme as its base, was perfect. Great tune. Special Duties: “Pop star punks? No, we're real shock troops…” Couldn’t put it any better myself. Foreign Legion: Another pretty standard tune, not to misconstrued as meaning it sucks, ’cause it doesn’t, but they just ain’t as mind-blowing as some others included here. The Crack: Have always liked what I’ve heard from these guys, but I don’t really think the world needed yet another cover of “House of the Rising Sun.” The Gonads: The history of punk set to a modern crunch metal riff. Final verdict? Jeez, try as I may, I can’t help but give this a glowing recommendation.
–jimmy (Captain Oi)

Barricaded Suspects and Four Old Toxic Shock 7: CD
Back in the early 1980s there were very few sources in the LA area to buy obscure punk rock. You could get the Black Flag and TSOL, but to get anything by a smaller band at the time was difficult. One record store you could count on was Toxic Shock. The problem was they were located in Pomona, CA and I lived on the west side. I also didn’t have a car that would go that far or make it up to freeway speed. The distance was too great. I was fortunate to go there a couple of times. Man, it was a great store! They seemed to have almost every punk release under the sun. To show how good it was there, my brother literally purchased two feet of 7"’s there on one of my visits. They were a store for the punks run by the punks. I think the store moved to Tucson, AZ around the mid to late '80s and changed the name to Westworld / Toxic Ranch. That was a great blow to the local scene. They also became a label in that early time period while in CA and these were some of the releases from the legendary label. They were also responsible in introducing Raw Power of Italy to a larger scale after Chris / BCT had put out a tape. Bill / Dr. Strange was smart enough to re-release this classic material to the masses. I hadn’t seen or listened to these songs in years (or a couple of decades?). My brother was the owner of the originals and made me not purchase it on my own. To see how good these releases are check out who’s on what. Barricaded Suspects contains Peace Corpse, Human Therapy, Red Tide, Killroy, Romulans, Knockabouts, Abcess, Suburban Mutilation, Septic Death, the Doll, Massacre Guys, Decry, Roach Motel, Bonded in Unity, Mad Parade, The Hundredth Monkey, Vision / Decay, Hue & Cry, Pillsbury Hardcore and Zimbo Chimps. 4 Old Toxic Shock 7" EP’s contains the Noise from Nowhere comp that features Kent State, Modern Industry, Moslem Birth and Manson Youth; Peace Corpse Quincy 7"; Red Tide Kelp and Salal 7"; Massacre Guys Behind the 8 Ball 7". Man, that is a lot of shit! Good to see that there is a demand of the past and I don’t have to pay Ebay prices for it. History is not a bad thing!
–don (Doctor Strange)

Battle for the Airwaves Vol. 2: 7"
Wow! The Workin' Stiffs, The Bodies, The Wretched Ones and The Templars all on one 7 inch. These are four bands way up on my high rotation list already. Each band holds their own on here with a song a piece. One hell of a teaser, but one hell of a quick rush. If you aren't familiar, all four bands have a working class, street punk kinda sound. Influences from late '70s English punk can be heard. This is great, but too damn short. Gimme more damnit!
–toby (Radio)

Cuts Vol. 1: CD
I’ve never professed to being a professional writer or an expert on punk rock. I do have an opinion though. I have pretty much stuck around for the last twenty plus years listening to this noise. As I read the intro to this release, I am in agreement that comps are different these days. Bands in the past would send their best effort and make it pretty much exclusive to that one release. If it wasn’t good, it wouldn’t be released. Lately, you get record label sampler comps that flood the rack space or comps with recycled material. It’s rare that you find a comp that completely has unreleased tracks. If you see what the old comps go for on Ebay, you can see that they are worth something. Enough of my old man memories. Back to opinion. I don’t listen to a lot of the OC beach punk garage stuff personally. So, many of these bands I have never heard of. The two that I recognize and have heard are the Smut Peddlers and Cell Block 5. Retodd told me of the up-comers Broken Bottles. He liked them so much, he booked them on a Razorcake show recently. Tracks that stood out to me were from the previously mentioned and The Thunder Pistols, D-Cup, Beer City Rockers, Extortions, The Negatives, The Switch-Ups, The Spooky, The Put-Ons, The Stand and The Cadavers. That’s a high percentage of bands on this eighteen band comp that peaked my interest. A good comp doing what it’s supposed to do – introduce me to some new bands I have never heard of.
–don (Hostage)

Drinking About Songs: 2 X LP
First off, I've got a deep admiration for Very Small Records. Know it or not, they've released many mighty influential comps and helped out a ton of then-obscure, now-well-known bands (like Operation Ivy, Pinhead Gunpowder, Green Day, Neurosis, and Jawbreaker) when they were just starting out. The guy who runs the operation, Dave, is probably one of the most up-standing citizens in a business and scene that is rife with a lack of ethics. You'd do very well to look at Very Small's catalog. That said, this is my least favorite comp they've put out in awhile. Although I admire the open ear – there's straight-up country numbers, let-me-suck-that-bar-towel drunk punk, and Small Wonder's "Crop Duster" that sounds like it could be on a Indigo Girls solo album (or a female top forty song. Don't press me. It's not my realm of expertise.) , it's an iffy affair, making it hard to put on and like – or at least tolerate – all the way through. There are some cool songs in the thirty-three: Super Chinchilla Rescue Mission, Grabass Charlestons, The Foxy Sluts, The Civic Minded Five, and the Bar Feeders don't disappoint. But then there's too much that's just okay or something I'd wish not to hear like '70s bar rock, mediocre pop punk, and just "plain, blah" rock. I say go with Faux Pas Potpourri, or either one of the two alcoholic-themed comps proceeding this one: Songs About Drinking or Liverache, which I like and recommend to this day.
–todd (Very Small)

Fat Music Vol. VI - Uncontrollable Fatulence: CD
Do you know the drill? The drill is this is the sixth in the series of the Fat sampler. Duh! Well they get better every time since they are adding more unreleased tracks on these comps. What me, get a Fat comp? I can’t have that in my collection. I will lose major punk points if my friends find out. Me, I don’t care. Lost many a punk point in my day. Besides, I’m getting pretty old and I don’t have a lot of friends anyway. I shouldn’t have to describe what these bands sound like to you. Vanessa at Fat is really good at what she does and is a good person also. You get unreleased tracks from: The Lawrence Arms (good track, like it better than their previous output), Mad Caddies (goofy mariachi, cowpunk for a good time), Lagwagon, Strung Out, Rise Against (I keep forgetting to go out and buy their CD), Swingin’ Utters (I can’t stop hearing Mike Ness and Social Distortion when I listen to these guys), Frenzal Rhomb, Anti-Flag (So good and thought provoking!), NOFX, Wizo (These guys don’t record enough!), and Me First and the Gimme Gimmes (A Prince song originally performed by The Family and then covered by Sinead O’Connor and desecrated by these guys, making it sound like a Billy Joel song). The rest of the comp is rounded off with tracks off of their current releases: Propagandhi, Dillinger Four, No Use for a Name, Avail, Less than Jake, Sick of it All, and Good Riddance. This should be reasonably priced, so use that X-mas money that you might have leftover.
–don (Fat)

First Strike: CD
Craig from Schizophrenic has been working like a mad man on a mission to get these BCT tracks that were originally only available on tape out on CD. If you don’t know BCT (Borderless Countries Tapes), they were heavily responsible in introducing international hardcore to the states from 1982 to 1986 one tape at a time. I’ve seen the tape deck. BCT is up and running again if you want the original tapes by contacting Chris / BCT @ bctinsd@aol.com. I know Sound Idea Distribution out of Florida also carries the tape. It’s great that this is out again. Another thing I haven’t listened to in a couple of decades. This is the first comp tape of the twenty-seven tape series. American bands like the Clitboys, Future Ruins, Violation, Vatican Commandos (Moby’s punk band!), Skoundrelz (I think Dogtown legend, Tony Alva, played in this band at one point or another), Mr. Epp, Poison Center, Eat the Rich, Cultural Breakthrough and The Accused (Seattle legends). Some studio and some live recordings that still stand the test of time. This takes me back to high school. Ten bands, fifty songs. That’s a lot to soak in, but well worth the purchase.
–don ($10ppd to Schizophrenic)

Four Old Toxic Shock 7” EPs ’83-’84: CD
The title says it all: four old seven-inch EPs from the Toxic Shock Records vaults, all remastered and digitized nice and purty for the new millennium. Included here are the Noise from Nowhere comp (featuring Kent State, Moslem Birth, Human Therapy and Manson Youth), the first EP from Peace Corpse (formerly Moslem Birth), Red Tide’s Kelp and Salal EP and Massacre Guys’ first EP (featuring a future member of Descendents/All). Most of the tracks stand up pretty well to the passage of time and are a fun, if not always crucial, reminder of some of the stuff that was going on in the scene at that time that didn’t involve the Circle Jerks and Black Flag. One very minor gripe: Considering the fact the Dr. Strange released Manson Youth’s posthumous seven-inch EP, it’s strange that they didn’t go through the trouble to change the incorrect title of the band’s contribution to Noise from Nowhere, here still incorrectly titled “Penis Brain” but actually a sort-of medley of three shorter songs.
–jimmy (Dr. Strange)

Global Hostility: CD
This showed up in the Razorcake PO Box from England, and I happened to be the guy opening the envelope. I took a look at the packaging and it’s totally DIY – cut and paste, photocopied – but done so well that it was clear these guys had been doing-it-themselves for a while. I looked at the band list and saw bands from places like Estonia, Nepal, Argentina, Finland, Uruguay, Israel, and over a dozen more countries. I looked for the US representative. It was The Boils. I like The Boils. I thought to myself, it’s been a long time since I was taken totally by surprise by a comp. Maybe this one will show me something new. And it did. It blew me away. It’s largely a collection of oi/street punk bands, but it’s done so well. Whenever you get bands from this many places, you’re going to get a nice blend of scenes and influences and takes on the sounds of the Stiff Little Fingers and the Business and Cocksparrer and all those other great working-class bands. And here is a bunch of bands I’ve never heard of, like Portugal’s Les Baton Rouge and Italy’s The Sbirros and Holland’s Uit de Sloot, taking those basic influences and kicking ‘em in the ass. It amazes me that this label could find this diverse of a group of bands and put them together into one fucking awesome comp. This is highly recommended.
–sean (No Front Teeth)

I Hope the End Is Always the Beginning: CD
I think so many neat things have come from the Japanese: sushi, Takara Blythe, Sanrio stationery, cutting-edge fashion for one-foot-high dolls and five-foot-high people. Most recently, though, I think the absolute best thing that’s come from Japan is the latest compilation of Japanese punk rock from the people at Snuffy Smile. Snuffy Smile may be a cute name, but there is nothing sissy about the bands on this label. I Hope the End Is Always the Beginning is one CD that is comprised of two sections: Chapter One and Chapter Two. Chapter One consists of original songs by fourteen different bands, including Minority Blues Band, Bottledirt, and Pear of the West. Chapter Two consists of the same fourteen bands covering songs by bands like The Replacements, Stiff Little Fingers, and Cock Sparrer. There are twenty-eight tracks on this album, and every single one rocks. Even though more than half the time I can’t understand the lyrics, I still want to sing along. I love this CD. Get your own copy now.
–felizon (Snuffy Smile)

Life Is Ugly So Why Not Kill Yourself: CD
Wow, I was wonderin’ when someone would get around to reissuing this, and in this case, it appears that the culprit is Danny Phillips, who was one of those responsible for the original release. What you get here, kids, is a chance to own one of the early, definitive Southern California punk comps, featuring tracks from (in order of appearance) Red Cross (Redd Kross before the other Red Cross threatened to sue, and before they were bitten by the glam bug), Descendents, Anti, Ill Will, Civil Dismay, China White, Mood of Defiance, Minutemen, 100 Flowers/the Urinals, Zurich 1916, Plebs and Saccharine Trust, nearly all of which aren’t available anywhere else. Although nearly all of the tracks hold up pretty well considering it’s been twenty years since it was originally available (Mood of Defiance’s track in particular is still a stunner), it’s worth the price of admission alone to hear Red Cross (which at the time consisted of the McDonald Bros, future Circle Jerk Greg Hetson on guitar and future Black Flag singer Ron Reyes on drums) uncharacteristically thrash things up a bit. Rumor has it that the other two releases in the series are to be reissued as well, so keep your eyes peeled, as all three volumes are highly recommended.
–jimmy (Delirium)

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