V/A

Reviews

V/A A Tribute to Really Red Teaching You the Fear…Again 2xLP

It’s a double LP of bands covering REALLY RED songs! But you already figured that out from the clunky title. Boy oh boy…let’s get some stats out of the way: 39 bands, three versions of “Teaching You the Fear,” two versions of “Pig Boy,” and a big-ass poster with a square for each band credit. It must have taken hours to enter this release into Discogs. Big names like DICKS, VERBAL ABUSE (twice!), the BELLRAYS, MYDOLLS, SUGAR SHACK, HICKOIDS, MUDHONEY, the HATES, 50 MILLION, JESUS CHRIST SUPERFLY, and beloved Randy Biscuit Turner’s last band the TEXAS BISCUIT BOMBS all contribute. REALLY RED is fucking classic on all accounts and many of the versions here are fine, some even interesting, but it’s a bit much. They’re certainly a band worth honoring in some way but I don’t see the point of a 39-song 2xLP released by CIA Records (the same label that released the REALLY RED records forty years ago), unless it’s a benefit or something? Nope, doesn’t seem to be. I could see curious fans wanting to check out some tracks via streaming (you can also buy a weird T-shirt), and maybe the most compulsive vinyl-hoarders lining up to purchase, but this is not nearly as essential listening as an actual REALLY RED record.

V/A Tape Dad cassette

Tape Dad is a cassette label from Fayetteville, Arkansas, and this is their first compilation release, with plans of doing a new one to be released every year on Father’s Day. Very clever, Cassette Daddy! “It’s a crazy hodgepodge of different genres, styles, cities of origin, and friends” (per the label’s Bandcamp discussing the compilation), and I couldn’t agree more. With twenty tracks, I could go on about this forever, but rather than that I am going to focus on the handful of standout tracks from the punk/punk-adjacent realm that readers of MRR may care about, ignoring the jammy/college rock/singer-songwriter/indie/art stuff and leaving that for another place to review. PONO A.M. kicks off the comp with a killer driving track of garage-infused insanity not unlike THEE OH SEES. MUSCLEGOOSE has a weird, spastic, cow-punk kind of feel to them. BIG GRUMP, whose cassette I also just reviewed, is some cool, nasty noise rock. The PHLEGMS play a cool mixture of driving garage rock and post-punk. There’s a lot of cool stuff on this comp, and a lot that is very much not for me. Give it a listen and decide for yourself!

V/A Be Gay, Do Crime!: A Girlsville Benefit Compilation for Prism Health cassette

Girlsville hits it out of the park with this one. A benefit for Prism Health, which is such an important cause. A little about them from their website (find out more at prismhealth.org): “Prism Health offers a safe, affirming, and non-judgmental space where all members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community can obtain the compassionate and culturally effective health care they need and deserve.” A+. Now onto the music. This comp is absolutely killer and features such heavy hitters as GEN POP, STIFF LOVE, and even a new track by OSEES (the newly renamed/revived OH SEES), as well as sixteen more tracks. It’s impossible to pick a favorite track off of this as it hits a lot of different bases. I was most surprised by how driving and gritty the OSEES song on here is, though; haven’t heard that band sounding this nasty in a while and I absolutely love it. Listen to this comp, make a donation to Prism Health if you can, and perhaps most importantly do what the label says: be gay, do crime!

V/A Pandemic Sampler CD

I have to say, I’m feeling quite energized by the state of (presumably) “political” punk these days. This is a compilation in honor of Switzerland’s ggs31 squat/concert venue, going strong now for 22 years! Given that for obvious COVID reasons there’s no live music currently, the collective that runs the squat decided to bring the music back out to the kids (and adults too, I reckon). Fifteen bands have donated a track each, half of them Swiss, with a couple of German, Belgium, Croatia, Mexico and the Czech Republic also providing a band/track a piece. The styles range from hip hop to traditional Mexican folk (no guessing which combo provided the latter). Fortunately, most of it remains within the remit of MRR, and is all the better for it. My personal faves are the late-’70s-sounding power pop of 100 MAD and the MIKE STAINDER BAND (both Swiss), Germany’s ALTER EGON! who turn in a superb song that would have taken pride of place on CRASS’s “Penis Envy” and the glorious melodic punk of the Czech ROSA PARKS. The overall quality of songwriting throughout is exceptional. Well worth tracking this down, in anticipation of visiting the squat, ah, next year!

V/A This Is Copenhagen: A Punk Rock Manifesto 2009-2019 LP

It seems odd to me having such a lavish scene retrospective for only the last ten years. It also seems crazy when the essays included within speak of bands like GORILLA ANGREB and NO HOPE FOR THE KIDS as those classic bands of yore. This is, of course, my age showing and what a beautifully packaged labor of love this record is. Clear vinyl and a top-notch book included with gorgeous photography and well-written essays from notable scene participants make this a must have for punk enthusiasts. The essays speak of a widely diverse scene and this record does a fair job in its portrait of such. Besides NIGHT FEVER, I can’t say I’m very familiar with the artists on this comp but it’s very diverse from the beautiful darkwave of MOTH to the slam and dance of MOTORSAV. From the ADVERTS-style melodic ‘77 punk of BIG MESS to the lush feminine synth-punk of KOLD FRONT, you get a nice mental photograph of a diverse and welcoming scene. My personal favorites are the freight train to the face core of NIGHT FEVER, the ENO-esque robotic jams of CHAINSAW EATERS, the URINALS-style art-punk of EVEN DWARVES, the D-beat thrash of DEATH TOKEN, ’80s Brazil raw punk of JUNTA, and the refreshing post-punk of MELTING WALKMEN. You can just feel the sticky-floored, smoked-filled rooms ripe with the sour stench of old Dutch lager. I say dive on in.

V/A …So This Is Progress? 002 7″ flexi

This flexi mini-comp is included in a 16-page zine of disposable camera photos taken between 2001-2007 in California featuring 38 bands! So let’s get right to it; KIRITIERRA remind me of a more metallic NEGAZIONE; SACRIFYX recall CRUDE SS and FINAL CONFLICT; JEFFREY DONGER brought me back to LACK OF INTEREST and PLUTOCRACY. KRATOM seemed very OP IVY at first, then laid down a more BLACK FLAG sound. NERVOUS AGGRESSION plays like CAPITALIST CASUALTIES with the A-political voice of AXIOM. Pretty damn good and the photo zine is no slacker either. Photos of AFTER THE BOMBS, DYSTOPIA, MUNICIPAL WASTE, MELT BANANA, ANNIHILATION TIME, INSECT WARFARE and many others. A nice like celebration piece in a year where we can hardly see each other’s faces.

V/A Unten links: Solidarität gegen Zensur und Repression CD

Well, there’s lots to say about this here compilation. Firstly, it’s a “Soli-Sampler für Indymedia Linksunten” as the Germans would have it. Indymedia Linsunten was a website, part of the international Indymedia network, that was open access and used by a wide range of the anti-parliamentary Left to post about actions, events, and suchlike, and hence was taken down by the German state in 2017. Thusly, I’m guessing that the 29 bands contributing to this compilation would come from the more “political” (i.e. anarchist/explicitly left) end of the ol’ punk spectrum. Which makes it a fascinating snapshot of international (I’m guessing from the non-English names of the bands that at least half of them are from Germany and/or Northern Europe—y’know, all them umlauts and suchlike) more or less contemporary political punk. Several things immediately stand out. Well over half of the vocalists are women, and often where there are male vocalists there are also female. I’ve only actually heard of one of these bands before (the UK’s AUTONOMADS, whom I love dearly—and unsurprisingly, have a female vocalist—and a male one too!), though that probably says more about my knowledge of international punk than it does the “state of the scene.” And I use the term “punk” deliberately, because hardcore most of these bands certainly are not. Twenty years ago, one would safely presume that such a political compilation would be full of crusty DISCHARGE-esque bands, with perhaps the odd raging thrasher to break up the metal and grind. There’s nary a single song that would fit any of these descriptions. Indeed, the early CURE, or SISTERS OF MERCY seem to be more of an influence than RIISTETYT or BOLTHROWER. I guess with the German tradition of ’80s legends such as RAZZIA and SLIME, it’d be no surprise that driving melody is the norm here, with barely a sore throat amongst them. Other than the aforementioned AUTONOMADS, standouts for these ageing ears are SJU SVARA AR, LITOVSK and 100BLUMEN (who do the rather fine SISTERS OF MERCY impersonation), but really, the entire compilation is of a really high quality throughout. There’s not a duffer track to be found, and the cause, of course, is outstanding. Comes with a thick booklet about the German state and its nefarious actions, though all but some of the lyrics are in German. Top notch.

V/A Rock n’ Roll Manifesto 7″ Series Vol. 1 EP

One cut each by TIGER TOUCH, FRET RATTLES, JJ AND THE REAL JERKS, and MISSILE STUDS. This 7” appears to be the first in a series of records we can expect from the Stamp Out Disco label, a name that is presumably a tip of the hat to RAZAR and their classic tune. This one features four real rockers. All are certainly punk, but each also clearly draws from their rock’n’roll roots. The one thing that I think they’ve all got in common is that they’re straightforward, melodic, and pretty catchy. Each of the four tracks is worthwhile, and to find them on a single slab of vinyl is a treat. This really is an excellent record.

V/A Cleveland Confidential LP reissue

The rest of the world has never fully reckoned with the sheer genius per square capita from Northeast Ohio, which not coincidentally produced one of the greatest punk/weirdo DIY comps of the ’80s in the form of Cleveland Confidential—the original 1982 pressing of the LP has been going for close to triple digits lately, so this new wallet-friendly reissue is a little more in line with the true Rust Belt spirit. For me, the definitive track here has always been MENTHOL WARS’ contribution, a totally sublime organ-drenched take on garage-pop by way of arty post-punk called “Even Lower Manhattan,” even though they were actually based in New York (with No Wave scenester and noted artist/video director Robert Longo on vocals and guitar!) and their primary Cleveland connection was their drummer being ex-PAGAN Brian Hudson. Other highlights, among many: the warped minute-and-a-half pop rant “Love Meant to Die” by JAZZ DESTROYERS (featuring one-time ELECTRIC EEL Dave E.), some droning and VU-damaged Clevo-sleaze from EASTER MONKEYS via “Cheap Heroin,” and the STYRENES’ appropriately collapsing rendition of the ELECTRIC EELS’ “Jaguar Ride.” I heard that the Cuyahoga River caught on fire again this summer; it’s good to know that some things never change.

V/A Damaged by Dez EP

Six track compilation of Dez-era BLACK FLAG covers. MANIACAL DEVICE’s “Six Pack” is solid but unremarkable. JESSE BLANKENSHIP BAND turning “Jealous Again” into a country-western twanger is…well, it’s fine as a concept. “Rise Above” gets a modern metal treatment from Puerto Rico’s VIEJA ESTRIPE. “Gimme Gimme Gimme” turns into a schlock rockabilly lounge turd when MUMMULA gets their hands on it. Someone has to do “Damaged I,” and PURE HEEL basically regurgitate it as it was, which is fine because it’s a pretty regurgitatable song. BETTY MACHETE AND THE ANGRY COUGARS breath life into “American Waste,” easily the best rendition on the comp. I still kinda can’t believe this is happening though.

V/A No Banger Left Behind LP

An all-over-the-place compilation of tracks with seemingly no correlation other than the fact that they’re all culled from obscure cassette comps or demo tapes. It opens with a short interview clip with the WORST (Ohio, not New Jersey) and travels between South America and Italy for a few tracks, then on to the UK, Australia, Yugoslavia, West Germany, Scotland, and then back to the Americas. Most of the eighteen selections date between ’84-’91, and a couple as late as 2000. It plays much like a mix tape your cassette-hoarding nerd friend made, heavy on the raw Central/South American hardcore punk and UK anarcho unknowns. I don’t recognize a single band name on here. I did the Discogs investigation on each to confirm the title is half accurate; most of these bands don’t seem to have more than one or two documented comp tracks, nor any info additional info. The term “banger” is subjective, and while most of the material is pretty good I don’t know if I’d describe anything on here as such. The layout looks cool and I do think it’s an interesting project. Collectors may want to take this for a spin, but I’m not adding anything to the want list. Limited to 200.

V/A Days of a Quiet Storm LP

Days of a Quiet Storm is a compilation of recordings made by music producer Martin Gary between 1966 and 1973. Gary was the son of a record store owner who grew up immersed in the retail side of the music business. From there, he expanded to record producer and label owner by recording bands from his hometown of Richmond, Virginia. The tracks on this compilation feature some of his earliest recordings and some are unreleased. They are surprisingly polished for a kid who was just learning the ropes, though probably a direct result of his record store experience. In the detailed liner notes, Gary recalls his processes of bringing bands he enjoyed seeing into studios in Washington, DC and Delaware due to lack of studios in Richmond. Gary would then release the records on his own labels and after getting local radio airplay, with some even becoming hits on the stations, he would bring the records to major labels trying to get the bands contracts. Though he was ultimately not successful in doing so, he was successful in his promotion of and preservation of these bands who might otherwise have been forgotten. Included here are the HAZARDS, the BARRACUDAS, KING EDWARD & HIS B.D.’S, BERNARD SMITH & JOKERS WILD, GROUP NINE, DUCK BAKER and the BOSOM BLUES BAND. Most started as teens playing at dances and frat parties. The music included is rock’n’roll, soul and blues similar to other bands at the time. The album title track by the BARRACUDAS features early use of a Moog Synthesizer. Not surprisingly, the original records go for big bucks today. As a music connoisseur, I am always interested in the history of different scenes, what happened and why. Knowing next to nothing about the early Richmond music scene, I enjoy getting a sense of it through the ears of ones of its fans and participants. It is a nice collection.

 

V/A Molde Punx Go Marching Out 2xLP

Long-lost-tape-to-deluxe-vinyl reissues are about as common as overpriced novelty flexi-discs these days. My lengthy and committed romance with Norwegian punk and hardcore motivated me to aquire this one and I simply could not have been prepared for how great it is. Many of Norway’s best early punk offerings have been well documented through the Bloodstains series, Anarki & Kaos comp, all of the classic X-Port Plater releases, Tsjernobilly Boogie compilation and countless comp tapes and blogs. This collection of fourteen Molde bands from 1980-83 was allegedly limited to something like 30(!) copies, but despite what you might be thinking that should mean, the quality is fucking significant! You all know BANNLYST and hopefully ANFALL and mayyybe PSYKSIK TERROR, but not other pre-SO MUCH HATE/STENGTE DØRER bands like NEVROSE, STYGGE FØT, FORBUDT UNGDOM or SKABB. It’s really notable how great and varied in sound and approach all of these are. I can’t even pick highlights, there’s something for everyone, all youthful and full of formative punk excitement, though I must point out all members appear to be young men, not a single woman. A satisfying 12×12-inch booklet comes loaded with punk as fuck layouts for each group, complete with cute baby-punk photo layouts (including my guitar hero and absolute legend Børre Lovik) and lyrics, really giving the proper space and document to a thriving early scene from a city less than 300 miles from the Arctic Circle. I’m experiencing immense pleasure in spotting the names of some of my favorite players in bands that were previously unable to be heard! This recommendation certainly comes from a certified nerd but I would urge you to pay the $40+ if you can.

V/A …So This Is Progress? 001: Spring 2020 flexi 7″/zine

The zine is just as much a photo essay as it is the story of the creator’s move from Oxnard to outside Columbus, followed by discovering what was happening punk-wise in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and NYC, documenting it all with disposable cameras. Whether shots of bands or friends, the euphoria of the punk show—and in particular experiencing it in a new place—is captured and conveyed in a way that made me feel the excitement vicariously (perhaps especially since gigs are on hiatus until who knows when?) The five bands on this comp—all great, scuzzy hardcore with some grind-leaning moments, all except Pittsburgh’s PEACE TALKS being from Ohio—also fit into the greater narrative of being representative of making DIY punk happen in their given cities. Even with the bar for 7″ comps being somewhere in the Earth’s mantle, this is a keeper. Just press number two to actual vinyl, please!

V/A Th’ Gunk Stunk cassette

Experimental dirges, shit-fi noise and general sonic fuckery abound on this tape. Starting with a dose of formidable monotony from BONELIST, Th’ Gunk Stunk only gets weirder. Nine tracks in total, mostly enough outside the typical fray that it takes serious processing to even decide where to file them in your brain. One track is BRAINBOMBS through a Wheelchair Full Of Old Men filter, then before you know it you’re listening to no-fi no-wave DIY synth damage. As a sonic journey, this is exactly what you want out of a compilation tape.

V/A We Were Living in Cincinnati LP

Ohio’s punk pedigree simply cannot be fucked with, yet Cincinnati never gets nearly as much lauding as most of the state’s other major burgs. HoZac (with help from an esteemed CHROME CRANKS member) aims to change all that with this collection, assembling a wide swath of pretty killer punk to get our scholarly heads a-scratchin’. Lotsa seldom-heard stuff here—a even split between stray single Killed By Death style excavating and wholly unreleased nuggz. BEEF’s “Nosedive,” a rescued live recording from ’78, finds the obnoxo-teen singer mimicking some air-show sounds…What’s not to fuckin’ love? There are some recognizable names as well: the CUSTOMS, the ED DAVIS BAND and even TEDDY AND THE FRAT GIRLS, whose inclusion here strikes me as a tad dubious, but if a technicality allows the now-generation to hear “Clubnite” again, I’m all for it! The great and hyper-detailed liners really convey a whole lotta punk love for this city and scene as well. As if all this were not enough, there is a download component that serves up an additional fifteen tunes—more punk Cin-sanity than anyone would ever need! Top to bottom, an ace collection and document of under-reported punk racket.

V/A Stay Home CD-R

A compilation of RAMONES covers from a variety of bands that I’m completely unaware of (which I’m sure says more about me than said bands). One of the beauties of the RAMONES is that it’s really difficult to make such a great collection of tunes sound bad. While those folks doing more or less faithful renditions still sounds great, those doing something a little different (female backing vocals, a bit of slide guitar and a country twang, electronic drums and keyboards), or radical reinterpretations (CHRISTIAN BLUNDA’s “I Remember You” stands out) just further enhances the majesty of the originals. Indeed, the only disappointing (somewhat) tracks on this effort, all recorded under lockdown, are those couple of folks who did even less lo-fi iterations than the originals. Personal faves of mine are DRAKULAS “Carbona Not Glue” and HAYBABY’s “Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment,” but anyone that loves the RAMONES (which is everyone, right!?) will dig this, indeed.

V/A Oi! L’Album Volume 2 LP

Libertoi, égalioi, fraternitoi! Nearly ten years after the first installment, Nantes-based label Une Vie Pour Rien has put out a second course of delicious Oi morsels from the francophone world. Absolutely zero fucking about here, as the first track from parisian stalwarts BROMURE is straight in with the saxophone, because is it really French Oi without it? Stand-out tunes from ULTRA RAZZIA, BOGAN, COUPE-GORGE, follow and if you like your riffs hard as nails, your vocals gruff and your saxophone inexplicably present then this is the comp for you. Marchons! Marchons!

V/A Mutations from the Motor City LP

As the title says, this comp is a collection of bands from Detroit, MI. The record starts off with “Limelight” from TIMMY’S ORGANISM. It is a short, thrashy track from this wildly entertaining band. It sets the bar high for the rest of the LP, which is filled with manic, angry, silly, loose and harsh bands. They are WEREWOLF JONES, DEVIOUS ONES, the STRAINS, PRIMITIV PARTS, BUBAK, UDI, LOWCOCKS, ERODERS, THROWAWAY and more. If these songs are representative of what’s happening in Detroit, things are about to explode. Watch out.

V/A My Head Is Like A Radio Set: A Girlsville Compilation cassette

This is essentially a sampler cassette featuring a number of artists who have releases on Girlsville Records, based in Portland, OR. As per the label “…all new, novel, unreleased & unearthed tunes from our favorite bands.”. Stylistically the tape ranges from bubblegum-pop to garage rock to synth-pop—it’s all over the map but the bands all work together really well. This is super cool and fun as a way to expose oneself to a ton of new bands all at once and see what a label is all about. I love when labels do this kinda thing. The tape features a ton of bands: the MARDI KINGS, the PRISSTEENS, FREAK GENES, GERM HOUSE, SEABLITE, the DARLING BUDS, UK GOLD, COLLATE, DIE GROUP, UV-TV, BECKY & THE POLITICIANS, SPLIT FRICTION, COACHWHIPS, THEE THEE’S, and OUIJA BOYS. If any of these bands are on your radar, or you just feel like scoping out a bunch of new bands, give this tape a shot.

V/A Diamond Distance & Liquid Fury: Sonny Vincent Primitive 1969-76 LP

Sometimes when punx who exclusively listen to punk rock accidentally encounter music from somewhere else and it does not suck, in their confusion the review and redistribution of the modified definition of punk rock starts to tame their minds. This explains when some tried to convince the world that a certain type of fast, electronic music is the new punk, or free jazz is punk. Occasionally it gets real chaotic and hardcore is called folk music. Side note: right now it’s 2020 and even if you have the words punk and hardcore tattooed on your body it is fine to own parts of the Acutel series or microdose yourself at some contemporary classical music event and tell your fellow radical rockers: you had a great Tuesday evening at this gallery where the performance took place. You basically can do whatever the fuck you want and within this freedom I state: this record is not punk at all. Which does not mean it is bad, because it is decent music that my dad would appreciate, too—but don’t worry, he does not possess a leather vest, nor wears a man bun, instead he was jamming me MC5 and ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO when I was around eight years old. This record sends me into that period when playing rock and roll was a radical act, tap water contained LSD, hippies started cults and robbed banks, and wars were either proxy or cold. Although it is a compilation of bands (FURY, DISTANCE, LIQUID DIAMONDS, TESTORS) which all had SONNY VINCENT, the proper curation made the record consistent yet varied enough not to ever become boring. Sound-wise the tracks are on the edge of psychedelic rock but no real chaotic mumbo-jumbo, rather large, extended solos. Everything is sweaty-face-in-trance-desperation tight, mostly mid tempo and big riffs accompany male sorrow. The atmosphere of the record is dirty, tired, coming down from a trip and looking either for epiphany while staring into the rising sun or for scavenging for an early breakfast before fainting onto a dirty mattress. It is closer to ROKY ERICKSON than to STOOGES, definitely not glam at all and also distant from the proto-punk art rock of the VELVET UNDERGROUND. In case you are done with the one-finger solos used on two-thirds of your hardcore songs, here is a whole catalog to lift ideas from, or in case you like to consume weed and get lost in classic sounding but still rocking albums or to be a rock dad with obscure knowledge, this can be your pick. It’s a fun listen.

V/A We Are the Flowers in the Red Zone LP

This is an absolute treasure! By 1988, Polish zine/label QQRYQ had created strong bonds with like-minded punks around the Eastern Bloc and compiled a tape with bands from GDR, Hungary and Poland. Stories of dedicated punks in this repressive state and time are always humbling and inspiring, and there are a few great ones in this package. Two booklets are included, one is a reproduction of the first (?) punk zine from the GDR, which had to be printed in Warsaw and then smuggled across the East German border either in a stinky beer-soaked backpack, or sewed into a giant teddy bear—there are two partially conflicting accounts. Either way, the Stasi inserted a spy into the punk community and managed to seize the zines before distribution! Needless to say, it’s ten beautiful typewritten and collaged pages covering DDR and Polish punk. The other booklet is focused more on the original tape of this release, with original layout reprinted nice and big and with added photos and retrospectives on the relevant scenes and projects. And of course there’s the music! The two opening tracks from ANDREA’S AUSLAF (GDR) are noisy, but awesome, but had me wondering if this would be another LP’s worth of hardly listenable live boombox recordings. Not the case! Quality varies but overall is enjoyable lo-fi, raw and passionate punk and hardcore from TRYBUNA BRUDU, DIE TROTTEL, KEIN TALENT + NAMENLOS, DEZERTER, BIZTONSÁGI TANÁCS, WARTBURGS FÜR WALTER, and closing with possibly the most ripping track by Poland’s A.P.S.F. If you are the least bit interested in punk behind the Iron Curtain, or even cool old punk ephemera of any kind, this LP is an absolute must.

V/A Killed By Meth #4: Rust Belt Rockers LP

This latest volume of Rust Belt scrap punk offloads fifteen tunes from the likes of the FURR, CLIBBUS, and TRACI AND THE FAUCET OF FUKS. While of course this ain’t an archival collection of lost obscurities, the ugly, trashy or just plain oddball cuts capture the KBD vibe regardless. Overall solid, and the excellent FACILITY MEN and DBOY contributions in particular make this worth checking out.

V/A Behind This Wall EP

A 7″ comp from the Mojave Desert in Cali. Bands included on this are RECLAIM, NOBLES BONES, MARRÓN, COUNTY FAIR, and CEL DAMAGE. Pretty much a hardcore collection that stays away from generic thrash. A good start for a lesser-known scene.

V/A Red Scare Industries: 15 Years of Tears and Beers CD

I guess if I’d have stopped to figure it out/think about it, I would have realized that Red Scare is only fifteen years young. It seems like they’ve been around forever, but I guess it makes sense that they are the sound of the new millennium. Certainly, they have consistently proven to more than emulate, and indeed, to help define what the more melodic end of punk and hardcore actually sound like over the last decade and a half. If Epitaph and then Fat both gestated and represented that 90s sound, Red Scare have picked up that blazing torch, reassembled and reinvigorated it, and hurled it headlong into this century, and then some. To celebrate, there’s fifteen artists, from the current Red Scare roster, with one track apiece. It’s hard to pick out standouts when the whole damn pack itself is leading, but I’ll mention my two faves. BRENDAN KELLY AND THE WANDERING BIRDS add a suitably genius twist to a LILLINGTONS standout, managing in this incarnation to channel the best of CAPTAIN SENSIBLE and ATOM AND HIS PACKAGE in a wonderful electro-pop gem, while THE BOMBPOPS channel BLINK 182 at their pop punk perfect pinnacle. Then again, it’s not as if the likes of the COPYRIGHTS, ELWAY, GARRETT DALE and RAMONA are also-rans. fifteen years to date, not a misstep to be seen, and they’re still reaching for the stars. Long live the comrades at Red Scare.

V/A Vent the Spew Vol. 1 LP

File under “I guess you had to be there.” This is a collection of Columbus, OH-area bands from 1993-95. A reissue of Burnt Sienna Label recordings featuring multiple tracks from five bands: PET UFO, CLAY, MOODY JACKSON, MY WHITE BREAD MOM, and HAIRY PATT BAND. On the upside, this is punk from a self-described “Cowtown” and it’s thrash-y and decent.

V/A DGHD-50 cassette

Why not celebrate your 50th release with a 30 track compilation? From freakout synth jams to jerky garage punk to… well, there’s lots of jerky hi-energy garage punk, but that’s fine. There are also several tracks that scream early ’90s college/alternative rock (SAWA MELON, RIOT PUNCH), but they scream it really well, and there are legit hardcore slammers like LECHE in the mix, too. Packed entirely with bands I had never heard of, including MEAT SWEATS, WASTE MAN, COUNTY BOYS, LUVWEB, UNCLE JESUS, BETTY GOOP, PROM THREAT and waaaaaay more. DGHD-50 packs a shockingly favorable ratio of excellent : interesting : forgettable for a compilation with 30 new-to-me acts. “Commodity” from LATE and KNIFE HAND’s “Big Rig” are among the killerest cuts I’ve heard this month.

V/A Warsaw’s Burning Volume 2 EP

In celebration of Refuse Records’ 150th release, they’ve compiled another nice-looking eight-band compilation of current Warsaw hardcore bands. The majority of the material is throttling and precise hardcore, namely from HEATSEEKER, NEGATIVE VIBES, JAD, and GOVERNMENT FLU. MORUS has a slightly more classic Euro crust vibe, BRAINEÄTER brings some powerviolence, and the GLAMOUR and CAST IN IRON (doing a DEZERTER cover) tracks come off more aggressive punk, minus the ’core. The 7″ is packaged in a beautiful booklet with attractive cover art, a nice reflection from Robert Refuse, and each band gets a page. High quality all around, and congrats to Refuse for prolific endurance throughout the years!

V/A Bekannt & Beliebt (28 Bands Spielen Notdurft) CD

The subtitle of this (so far as I can ascertain) all-German compilation translates to “28 Bands Cover NOTDURFT.” ’Tis all in German (both the liner notes and the singing, not to mention the names of the vast majority of the bands), so I really have no idea what they are going on about. But it does sound pretty damn good. CAMINOS quite wittily/cleverly weave in the defining riffs, melodies, and solos of “Holiday in Cambodia” into their track—the majority of which sounds nothing like the DEAD KENNEDYS stylistically. UGLY HURONS do the third-wave pop punk-with-horns ska thing very well, while the POST-ROFT offering wouldn’t have sounded amiss on the UK DECAY long player. The highlights for me are definitely HANS AM FELSEN, who sound like the driving melodic punk with male/female twin vocals of PARANOID VISIONS at their height, along with two of the synth pop offerings from EIN JAHR and GEN NULL, the latter of whom bring to mind the best of CAPTAIN SENSIBLE’s solo offerings. I’d never heard of any of these bands prior to this disc, but am delighted to make their acquaintance, for sure.

V/A A Tribute to Punk 2xCD

On the face of it, there’s not a ton of appeal to a collection of 25 punk covers from bands that are punk-adjacent at best. Maybe I’m getting soft in my old age, but this was actually a pretty easy listen. Mostly hailing from Europe, the bands included cover a wide range of styles that includes dub, cumbia, ska, tango, and the latest weird iteration of GUTS PIE EARSHOT. Highlights include DUBAMIX (anarcho-dub!) offering up a DJ SHADOW-esque mashup of CRASS, the CLASH, DEAD KENNEDYS and BERURIER NOIR, an impassioned take on “The Guns of Brixton” (“Armas de Barrio”) from Spain’s ESKORZO, Italian band ARPIONI proving that “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” is a much better ska song than it is a pop track, and KUMBIA QUEERS high-energy, tounge-in-cheek cover of LOS VIOLADORES’ “Una, Dos, Ultraviolenta.” As you can tell, most of the covers are of the CLASH and other big names, but there are some pretty cool curveballs as well. As a whole, this isn’t something that you’d play for your crustier acquaintances, but if you need a record to put on when you’ve got squares over, this is a pretty good choice.

V/A Chain of Karma CD

Break out your bandanna and knuckledusters, this CD is a cornucopia of metallic/NYHC-style hardcore bands from Japan. Six bands, each offering three tracks apiece, so you get a good dose of material from the bands you know, and a good sense of what the others are all about. The disc opens and closes with its strongest material, kicking off with the SUICIDAL-loving mosh masters CYCOSIS and closing with the Burning Spirits-meets-CRUMBSUCKERS crossover of SAIGAN TERROR (best known for their super-elusive EP on Bacteria Sour). In between you’ll find straightforward trebly hardcore from B SIDE APPROACH, some particularly weird joke-y black metal-style stuff from the reliably strange HARD CORE DUDE, some super-catchy riff-centered mosh from GAMY, and some very metallic and technical stuff from EEVEE. Not as great as some of the other Hardcore Kitchen samplers from the past (I highly recommend Destructive Decibel Domination and the N.E.K/ADA MAX split) but there’s plenty to like here, especially if you’re a fan of the heavier side of hardcore.

V/A Kinda Sorta Music 2019 CD-R

20-band compilation CD-R—a format that I simultaneously curse and adore. The disc starts with garage punk, then raw hardcore, then blackened grind/crust…so you know you’re in for a wild ride. There’s weird industrial (FUTURE SCUM), pure noise (O.S. D’VIL, OLIGARCHY OF MEGALOMANIA), shit-fi garage (the GREAT SADDNESS), psychedelic drum machine party punk (HURT HAWKS), some lost BAUHAUS shit (UFO WHISPERER) and plenty of straight hardcore and/or punk burners (the RIGHT, DEAD BABIES). Literally something here for everyone, and I missed more than a few highlights in this review. Kinda Sorta Music is all over the place in the best way, and well worth the two or three emails to kindasortamusic@mail.com that it might take to get a copy into your own hands.

V/A Fast Beats In A Slow Town Volume II: The CCHC Demos Edition (1987-1991) LP

A sequel of sorts to the first volume: the S.U.S. / ONE TRICK COBRA split EP, also released by the long-running TFC Records in 2009; this is a seventeen-track collection of largely raw demos, practice recordings, and a few live tracks from mostly unknown and unheralded late ’80s Corpus Christi, TX hardcore bands. DEMORALIZED, SUBVERSION, BRUTAL POVERTY, PURE HATE, JOYWAN, the KRAYONS, KILLJOY, the HERSHEY SQUIRTS, BIG MOUTH, and POETIC NOISE contribute one to three lower-fi songs apiece. In a way, it could almost be a snapshot of anywhere in the US at that time, though the speedy turns of ultra-quick thrash—a Texas hallmark cemented by the likes of DRI, DRESDEN 45, and MANCHURIAN CANDIDATES—do both date and location stamp the recordings. There’s a wonderful nascent energy here, with SST / CRUZ records-style quirkiness, deigns to ’80s singalong hardcore, thrash, and melody all being stirred in self-expression without any pretension beyond playing a vets hall as an opener for NO FRAUD or DESPERATE MINDS. And that rules. It’s like a paean to a simpler time where people didn’t really do bands with much ambition beyond having fun and entertaining their friends, because the overarching larger hardcore scene had collapsed and a smaller, stronger DIY culture hadn’t splintered and solidified to a point to give you many more options beyond that. So these tracks ring pretty earnest and fun. You might not find your new favorite band here, but you’ll hear a lot of bands that remind you of that friend’s band that was pretty good but just did a demo you totally wish you still had a copy of. Pressed on mottled transparent brown vinyl, and includes a brief insert with short band descriptions and photos. Fun listen.

V/A Into The Outro: Swingin’ L.A. Sounds LP

This is an interesting compilation of L.A. bands. The genres include garage, surf, pop, metal(-ish), and there’s even a RAMONE (Richie). The LP flow is a bit disjointed, and some tunes are too slickly produced, but there is probably at least one song everyone will like. Some of the standout bands are KID FLAMINGO, the 7 AND 6, the NIGHT TIMES, the AZMATICS, the OSTEOBLASTS, the TURBULENT HEARTS and the SLOP.

V/A Western KY Music Through the Years 2002-2017 CD-R

Five Kentucky bands, mostly on the early garage and/or proto-grunge end of the spectrum. VASELINES, EUGENIUS, a little bit of SCREAMING TREES maybe…that brand of laid back action. Not bad, and it definitely grew on me.

V/A Our Voltage CD

This is a cool comp of modern garage rock bands. The bands are lo-fi, fuzzy, surfy, laidback, etc. Includes THE PRISTEENS, MR. AIRPLANE MAN, FREAK GENES, UK GOLD, DAMAGED BUG and more. The title is appropriate: Our Voltage is whatever feels right in the moment, and every band hits it perfectly. Even the covers of SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES’ “Christine” (the MYRMIDONS) and BO DIDDLEY’s “Who Do You Love?” (ATOMIC SUPLEX) manage to sound fresh. Nice.

V/A Peace, Unity, Noise And Having Fun: Tekken Tribute & Remixes LP

So this compilation LP is apparently a tribute to the French fastcore band TEKKEN. I regret to announce I was not familiar with TEKKEN the band, but it looks as though they were around in the late ’90s and early ’00s, and with some video research, I have realized that they were pretty good! If you like to blast off with CHARLES BRONSON, SPAZZ, DAMNABLE EXCITE ZOMBIES, AGATHOCLES, or even FANTOMAS, or any bands that were forming when fastcore was really breaking into its stride, I have this recommendation for you! There’s also some really bizarre MIDI carnival music, which I must admit I am entertained by, if not perplexed.

V/A Live Your Gimmick Vol. 1 CD

Four-band comp that goes like this: 1) The DRIVIN’ BEATS play early ’80s sounding late punk vs. early college radio rock and/or legit new wave rock ’n’ roll; 2) SOURPUSS sound like if the SPITS were trying to sound tough and/or offensive—also if the SPITS were actually a bad grunge band; 3) The DOWNSTROKES are classic ’80s Midwest punk; 4) The XILES are like the SEX PISTOLS if Johnny’s exaggerated accent kept falling out of line and / or any heartfelt, determined bar punk band in any town in North America—and “American Nightmare” is the best song on this comp. That is all.

V/A Live Your Gimmick Deuce!!! LP

A compilation of four bands whose collective goal as described by the CD’s narrator is to “take back punk” from the people who impose the punk rules. Isn’t that supposed to be MRR? NEVER SAY DIE plays rockabilly-ish redneck rock. SUPERMEN are macho ANTISEEN types. THE RUNZ play anthemic hard rock. LONG LOST ENEMIES are poppy hardcore. Eh. Good luck.

V/A Pulsebeat LP

As we witness the decay of the physical parts of punk, like the disappearance of the printed word and the records we used to hold in our hands, one of the earliest casualties was always going to be the compilation LP. These motherfuckers are hard to make good, you know? It’s like going to those goddamn ten band bill shows, where five people watch the band they came to see, and everyone goes outside to smoke during the rest of the night. So when I hear a comp LP in 2019 of bands I’ve never heard of and find it to be completely listenable and varied, I get pretty fucking stoked. Slobbery two-finger metal, tolerable Fat stuff, pop punk, dark synthy post-punk, drooling robo punk, cleaned-up crust, and even some fucking ska metal. I gotta hand it to these fine folks, as this is all over the place and still not fucking terrible. There’s a shit ton of sneer and bile in almost all the vocals, like every singer went to the same laryngitis-inducing singing school. Seventeen tracks, and financed by seven different record labels, which is kinda goofy, but hey, that’s the price you gotta pay to put out records in a time when nobody is buying. Definitely worth checking out.

V/A Live at Raul’s LP reissue

Despite being a Texan and a Texas punk enthusiast, I never heard Live at Raul’s. I always assumed it was more important to be equipped with the BIG BOYS / DICKS Recorded Live at Raul’s LP (it is). Raul’s was a club in Austin that accidentally became a hub for new wave / punk in the late ’70s through the early ’80s, and these tracks were crisply captured via mobile studio. Five local bands, two tracks each, many of which were unreleased at the time. The EXPLOSIVES, TERMINAL MIND, and the SKUNKS tracks are all edgy rock, the latter two being the punkest. STANDING WAVES are more new wave, while the NEXT is the most confrontational and best, as I expected. With the exception of the NEXT tracks, it all errs on the side of pop rock. This reissue is limited to 500 copies, and has a reproduction of the flyer for the gig, and some decent live band shots. Live records are polarizing but I am happy to report that it’s easy to forget this is live until the applause at the end of the tracks. Essential? No, unless you’re a completist.

V/A Paris Is Burning CD

Paris might be burning, but it sounds pretty damn good to these ears. Ten Parisian punk bands grace us with a couple of tracks each. Whether it’s the UK SUBS-esque HUMAN DOG FOOD, the GBH-inflected BREAKOUT, or the ever-ebullient techno pop punkers LOUIS LINGG AND THE BOMBS, the standard is uniformly astonishingly high for a compilation. The moody goths yearning for the days of ALIEN SEX FIEND even have HARASSMENT to keep ’em happy. I guess this does make them all a bit European sounding. But then again, it is Paris for fuck’s sake. Even better, this CD, brought to you by the trifecta of labels Sick My Duck, Sheekiz,and General Strike, is available for free from any of the featured bands, with a purchase of any of their other records. Given that this was sent in by LOUIS LINGG AND THE BOMBS, you ought to get it from them!

V/A Welcome to Ax/ction Island EP

Seven bands, including the SCAM, PSYCHO, GG ALLIN, and CANCEROUS GROWTH contribute a song each to this thrashy EP. Two songs rip (STUPIDS, SPASTIC RATS), one is pretty good (PTL KLUB), and the rest lapse into genericness.

V/A Väterchen Frost LP

There are some cool experimental tracks here, mostly by English groups like YEAH YEAH NOH, FLESH PUPPETS, and the BUMBITES. Also, a couple of good German punk tracks by RANOLA and HUNGRY FOR WHAT, plus plenty more – even a cut by APPLIANCES-SFB from Wisconsin.

V/A Thrash Til Death LP

First, the music of GAUZE, OUTO, LIPCREAM, and SYSTEMATIC DEATH comprise some of Japan’s best HC, a variety of approaches, all gripping. Now the cover—one of the best all time graphic jobs, both in layout and content. Impressive.

V/A Thanks for Writing Back cassette

Here’s yet another cool int’l comp with vicious, urgent stuff from LARM, MASS APPEAL, PESADELO, and more. Sound quality gets crunchy at times, but overall, this blasts.

V/A Sutura Eterna LP

This compilation is put out by Senzapatria, whose political magazine is included with this disc. Bands featured are MYDGARD, LINK LARM, DISPERAZIONE, and ANTISBARCO, who present different brands of hardcore. As with many of the Italian bands, their tastes run eclectic, and within any given song you’ll hear lots of changes and styles. Stiv art graces the cover.

V/A Sub Pop 100 LP

Smartly divided between the “guitar” side and the “machines” side, this sampler has a K-Tel greatest hits feel to it. Aside from a STEVE ALBINI spoken word track and songs by NAKED RAYGUN and the WIPERS, all of this is previously released. Still, it’s nice to have a listen to SONIC YOUTH, SCRATCH ACID, BOY DIRT CAR, and others all in one sitting.

V/A Fledgling Punx: Nouzui Omnibus Vol. 1 EP

This solid 4-track EP contains upbeat HC with a uniformly slicing guitar attack from the likes of GAGIZE, WEEDY EGGS (more pop-punkish), SWORD, and REZIST (excellent ripping thrash). Good record.

V/A La Planète de tous les Dangers.. cassette

A 60-minute compilation consisting of nine UK and French political punk bands, like ANATHEMA, FINAL BLAST, and PIN PRICK. Excellent sound quality, and includes a band information booklet. Nice job!

V/A Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Vol. 14: The Northwest, Part 2 LP

This latest in the series (which is not being issued in sequential order) covers the Pacific Northwest, home of many of the earliest U.S. garage bands like the SONICS, WAILERS, KINGSMEN, and PAUL REVERE AND THE RAIDERS, none of whom appear here. What does appear are a host of lesser-knowns, bands that would play bars/frats and rock out. Hottest are SIR RALEIGH, and the STATICS. The rest will appeal only to historians, with the usual fine liner notes by Lee Joseph.

V/A Don’t Adjust Your Set… There’s Nothing Wrong With Your Needle! LP

This sampler from the Cryptovision label goes to great pains to capture that trashy, one-take sound. The most successful at this are the DISTRACTION BOYS, MOD FUN, and STEPFORD HUSBANDS. The other groups have a more forced, contrived sound.

V/A Complete Death LP

This compilation contains a few tracks from already released LP’s (DR. KNOW, COC, MENTORS), some unreleased tracks (DRI, UGLY AMERICANS, BEYOND POSSESSION), and a few odds and ends (INSOLENTS, DEPRESSION, and CIVILIAN TERRORISTS). As you might guess, this is death/speed metal up the ass. Aargh!

V/A Your Chance No. 4 cassette

This international demo cassette comp from Germany features DISACCORD, CHALLENGER CREW, and many others. Varied but good sound quality plus a listing of bands’ addresses and demo tape prices.

V/A Yugoslavia Maximum Hardcore #2 cassette

More, more, and even more HC for those thrash and burn addicts out there! Features STRES D.A., KZV, and PATARENI, to name a few, all of which deliver abrasive noisecore. Only for people with cast-iron eardrums!

V/A U-Boats Attack America!!! LP

This American release showcases the greatest hits, as it were, of the German Weird System label. BLUT & EISEN, NEUROTIC ARSEHOLES, RAZZIA, CRETINS, and others serve up a series of blistering HC and punk cuts mandatory for those who don’t have the original German recordings. Excellent, varied sampler.

V/A Trousers in Action EP 2 EP

This is a special limited-edition four-song EP that comes with the latest issue of Trousers In Action fanzine. The fanzine is good for the low-down on the Australian underground—a little more punk than what you would read in B-Side. This EP features a gritty punk tune by CHAOS, a sheer fun noise-fest by FEEDTIME, a quirky track by EXAMPLEHEAD, and a great BUZZCOCKS-like song by TOYS WENT BERZERK.

V/A Rapsodie LP

Lots of great material from the current crop of French HC bands, and there’s enthusiasm as well as tight, hot music. Bands include ZOI, HEIMAT-LOS, FINAL BLAST, M.S.T., SCRAPS, RAPT, and more. These bands are not as distinctively “French” as previous waves of French punk, seemingly more influenced by US hardcore, which in a way is a shame.

V/A Fatal Response: Rescue Ladders & Human Barricade cassette

Pop-punk, thrash, Oi, are all present here. Hottest recordings are by DEAD ENDS and URBAN BANDITS (odd production), but if GEORGE IMBECILE & THE IDIOTS’ live tracks had been done in a studio, they’d have been tops.

V/A Wipeout cassette

This 15-band world compilation cassette features 37 songs and fantastic sound quality. So, if international HC is your fancy, get this. My faves include the STUPIDS, HERESY, and LUNATIC FRINGE.

V/A Quest for the Corn Girl cassette

A truly cool HC comp featuring the RAPED TEENAGERS, CANCEROUS GROWTH, LUDICHRIST, PSYCHO, and many more. Here the accent is on gruff thrash, but a few slower cuts break up the mayhem. Darn good.

V/A P.M.L. Compilation #1 cassette

A great compilation of eight Canadian and US bands varying from rocking garage punk to straight-ahead thrash. YOUTHQUAKE, PROBLEM CHILDREN, and SONS OF ISHMAEL are my favorites, but there’s something for any punk/HC fan out there.

V/A Montreal New York Connection 85 Live LP

Contains SCAB, ULTRAVIOLENCE, and KRAKDOWN from NY, and ZERO, VOMIT AND THE ZITS, and GASSENHAUER from Montreal. All the tracks are live, but of good quality. Lots of great noise, thrash, and energy. Recommended for those who enjoy live recordings.

V/A I’ve Been Hypnotized cassette

Basically, a pretty good comp containing mostly smaller US outfits. Musical styles vary a bit, but LIFE SENTENCE, LEGION OF DOOM, and PUNKS FOR PROFIT really rock out.

V/A It Came From Canada, Vols. 1 & 2 LPs

A mixed bag of punk, ’60s folk, rockabilly, experimental, and pop with Volume 2 being a bit better than Volume 1. Features the likes of GRUESOMES, DEJA VOODOO, MY DOG POPPER, ENIGMAS, and lots more.

V/A God’s Favorite Dog LP

Jesus…a sheer noise museum here with previously unreleased tracks by BIG BLACK (sounding strangely like the FALL), HAPPY FLOWERS (very twisted noise), HOSE, KILLDOZER, SCRATCH ACID, and the BUTTHOLE SURFERS (with plenty of horns—jazz damage?). Horrible cover, but this is one comp I find myself returning to over and over.

V/A Empty Skulls Vol. 2: The Wound Deepens LP

This installment, The Wound Deepens, contains a few tracks each from an international line-up. Hot stuff from E.A.T.E.R, STRANGLEHOLD, HALF LIFE, CÓLERA, PANDEMONIUM, LEGION OF PARASITES, and others. Excellent selections and fun listening.

V/A Tuatara LP

This New Zealand comp pretty much consists of dark and somber guitar bands. It’s also pretty obvious that more than a few have used the VELVET UNDERGROUND as a starting point, but that’s not a complaint. Some of the tracks by the CLEAN, VERLAINES, CHILLS, and GORDONS are beautiful progressions from both VU and the Scottish Postcard label. Good stuff.

V/A There Is No Reason to Be Happy EP

WDM (Finland) clock in with a hot DISCHARGE-like ripper, III KATEGORIJA (Yugoslavia) have a “heavy” thrash sound on their three short blasts, MARITAL LAW (England) have a long, slow-tempo punk tune, and I REFUSE IT (Italy) finish it off with their jazzy HC sound. An indie international effort.

V/A Fledgling Punx: Nouzui Omnibus Vol. 1 EP

A sharp little 7” with some hot Japanese bands. A mixture of gargling vocals, wild feedback, distorted guitar riffs, good melodies, and straight forward thrash. Crazed action all grooved into a slashing sampler.

V/A Meltdown on Media Burn LP

Many of the tracks on this garage/psychobilly comp are previously unreleased, many are covers , and most all rock. You get the likes of PURPLE THINGS, X-MEN, TALL BOYS, MILKSHAKES, CANNIBALS, STING RAYS, and more.

V/A The Dat After Judgement cassette

A consistently good sampler of some of Europe’s best acts, including RATTUS, SCAPEGOATS, ICONOCLASTS, BRISTLES, and RUNNING RIOT. The energy here is kept at a feverish pace, so check out this hour long thrashathon.

V/A Cage Omnibus No! 12″

Four bands here: HONEY DEEP WET, NO LIP, REAL, and MERRYGOROUND. Average of a couple of tunes each, and I found none of this material truly outstanding, though none is really boring or incompetent, either. Accent is on the message in lyrics, though, which won’t do much for most of us.

V/A Mystic Sampler #3 LP

Apparently Mystic does still consider these samplers necessary. This one includes tracks from other recent Mystic released by GOVERNMENT ISSUE, WHITE FLAG, PTL KLUB, ILL REPUTE, MENTORS, FACTION, AGRESSION and several samplers. Me, I’m unconvinced.

V/A It Came From the Garage! LP

A really great garage compilation featuring all Midwestern contemporary bands. Sounds range from ‘60s punk, surf, mid-70’s punk, psychobilly, and beyond. Hot stuff from MANGOS, ELVIS HITLER, MYSTERY BLUES, 3-D INVISIBLES, and lots, lots more.

V/A There’s a Method to Our Madness LP

A great collection of mostly unreleased tracks from North American bands like LUDICHRIST, DISORDERLY CONDUCT, SACRED DENIAL, ASSAULT, PSYCHO, and many, many more. There are a few speed-metal riffs here, but the common denominator is speed. Aggressive speed-thrash attack.

V/A Songs We Taught the Cramps, Vol. 1 LP

A fine idea, a compilation of original tunes that the CRAMPS have covered over the years. Both ’50s and ’60s songs, there are either whole songs covered, or songs the CRAMPS took the lyrics from or took the instrumental licks from. Given the huge amount of songs the tasteful CRAMPS have copped, we can look forward to Volume 5 in no time.

V/A The Shot Heard Around the World cassette

A politically inspired comp, this one contains such bands as LIFE SENTENCE, GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS, BORN WITHOUT A FACE, RAPED TEENAGERS, and many more. A really worthy project, plenty of good music, and lyrics that matter. Especially like the Missouri band LIKE A HORSE.

V/A Lovedolls Superstar LP

Clearly half of this soundtrack LP stars the LOVEDOLLS, who seem to mainly to do the vocal tracks (sounding like the RUNAWAYS), and backed by the likes of REDD KROSS, SWA, PAINTED WILLIE. Remaining tracks star BLACK FLAG, DK’S, GONE, MEAT PUPPETS, SONIC YOUTH. Fun, in a Hollywood sort of way.

V/A Hanging Out at Midnight LP

Various pop-punk and folk rock bands with neo-’60s flair. The bulk are 50/50, but there are at least three real standouts, coming from the MIGHTY MOFOS (formerly the HYPSTERS), the WIND, and the CAVEMEN.

V/A Big City First Three LP

A reissue of the first EPs on Big City Records. If you don’t have them, you’re safe by snagging this because of the great tracks by REFLEX FROM PAIN, VATICAN COMMANDOS, ARMED CITIZENS, CIA, SAVAGE CIRCLE, ULTRAVIOLENCE, and others.

V/A Expo Hurts Everyone EP

A one-off “instant record,” this EP is dedicated to exposing the scam of the Vancouver Expo and its effects on those who aren’t just profiting off of it. MECCA NORMAL, RHYTHM ACTIVISM, and another band do folk or dirgy noise, while DOA does a CREEDENCE-like tune, “Billy and the Socred.” A timely release.

V/A Connecticut Fun LP

This 28-song comp is made up from the likes of 76% UNCERTAIN, YOUTH OF TODAY, LOST GENERATION, VATICAN COMMANDOS—13 bands in all. The music ranges from powerful thrash to melodic late-’70s punk to hard-edged rock. Production is consistent, resulting in a fairly good sampler of what the CT scene has to offer.

V/A Varning for Os, Vol. 2 cassette

Eight bands, mostly murky sound, mostly thrash stuff. Standouts for me were the spastic psychotic thrash of BRAIN DEATH and DISACCORD, who spreads thick swirls of distorted guitar on an early-DISCHARGE base.

V/A Raw Cuts, Volume Two: Swedish Beat LP

Volume One covered French neo-’60s garage, and this latest volume covers Sweden. The bands emerge from punk to pop-punk to power rock, all with that zesty garage undertone. Grittiest stuff comes from the SLAMMERS and SLOBSTER, though fine stuff by HIDDEN CHARMS, SINNERS, and BOTTLE-UPS (among others) are welcome, too. Good work.

V/A Gadael Yr Ugienfed Ganrif LP

This label Anhrefn is dedicated to alternative bands who pride themselves in their Welsh identity, culture, and language, and this comp contains two tracks each from five bands. Two are punk (YR ANHREFN, ELFYN PRESLI), while the other three are best described as folk-punk, post-punk, and techno-pop. An interesting array.

V/A Emma 2xLP

Emma is a squat/rehearsal/recording studio/concert hall in Amsterdam that is run by and for bands and fans. This double-LP not only comes with a complete description of Emma’s intent and a booklet by the bands, but lots of music that’s been performed live an in the studio there. Thirty international bands in varying styles and recording quality. There is literally something for everybody here divided by sides: hardcore, pop, post-punk, noise, etc. They’re an example to us all.

V/A A Farewell to Arms LP

Two to four songs each from GAUZE, GHOUL, EXECUTE, LIP CREAM, OUTO, and GASTUNK. Lots of great stuff, especially by LIP CREAM and GAUZE, though there are very few slouchers at all here. Hot.

V/A Woodshock 85 2xLP

Double-LP that documents a big Austin music festival with bands like the OFFENDERS, POISON 13, HICKOIDS, NOT FOR SALE, and more. It’s a good record—just kind of hard to sit through the whole thing—like Woodstock, I guess.

V/A That Was Then… This Is Now! EP

Four songs from four Philly standouts, including RUIN, ELECTRIC LOVE MUFFIN, SCRAM, and FOD. Each band holds their own creative ground that challenges the listener. Some noise thrash, post-punk, reggae, world beat—it’s all here, and all four songs support a hard edge. Well put together musical document.

V/A Positively United cassette

A thrashaholic’s dream come true, with 17 bands blaring through two to four quick songs each. While some cuts fall into that dreaded generic category, the EXCEL, CLOWN ALLEY, and BORN WITHOUT A FACE material is worth the price alone. Hot tape!

V/A Lethal Noise cassette

An hour of some of the best old and new talent from the Bay Area, including SHORT DOGS GROW, CLOWN ALLEY, VICTIMS FAMILY, RHYTHM PIGS, plus many, many more. Mostly from demo tapes, it’s overall a good sampler of what the Bay Area has to offer. Booklet included.

V/A Exposure to Conviction cassette

A good introduction to today’s up-and-coming hardcore bands (most from the US), though a few lack in the innovation department. The emphasis is on thrash and speedcore, and the MAIMED FOR LIFE and LUDICHRIST cuts really caught my ear. Great effort.

V/A We Can Do Whatever We Want LP

At last, the best of BCT’s cassettes. Quite a ripping collection of live and studio stuff, this LP includes European and North American bands. Some of the bands included are: RAW POWER, PSYCHO, RATTUS, TERVEET KÄDET, CCM, WRETCHED, DETENTION. A real testimony to Chris’s perseverance and dedication; I hope this will be the first of many vinyl efforts.

V/A 24 Shit Kickin’ Classics cassette

A new European comp tape that stresses the need for original bands that don’t follow the latest metal trend. Such bands as L.A.W., the SECT, STALAG 17, DISTURBED, RED LETTER DAY, and so on are included, and most have a strong punk influence, making their songs raw and powerful. Sound is decent.

V/A This is Oi!: A Streetpunk Compilation LP

A non-fascist skin (“street-punk” is what they call it) comp with the OPPRESSED, OI POLLOI, COMPLETE CONTROL, BARBED WIRE, and more. OI POLLOI and BARBED WIRE come off with the most energy and determination, while the rest sort of hang together undistinguishable.

V/A Stone the Flamin’ Crows!! double cassette

Two tapes, 44 bands, and a booklet—an amazing comp of some of Australia’s best of the last few years. Includes DEATH SENTENCE, CIVIL DISSIDENT, VICIOUS CIRCLE, and tons more. There are a lot of live tracks, most of decent sound quality, though not all.

V/A Kulturschock Attacke Vol. 1 LP

A really decent Germany comp. though the sound quality varies from band to band. Some of the included are: CRAPSCRAPPERS, CIRCLE OF SIG-TIU, EUTHANISIE, IM ZEICHEN DES KREUZES, and many more. An enjoyable slab.

V/A Les Héros Du Peuple Sont Immortels LP

This compilation of French pop-punk bands contains all that we expect from this kind of band: songs with choruses, catchy melodies, and moderate tempos. While there are respectable tunes by THUGS, OTH, PARFUM DE FEMME, and BABYLON FIGHTERS (cool reggae), no song really stands out in my mind. Interesting.

V/A Hits and Corruption! LP / Skin and Bones cassette

You get a record, a tape, a booklet, stickers some punks, and some refreshing “We’ll never sell out” literature. The record and tape are packed with diverse goodies (no hardcore, though). Classic crash and burn from the EX and SONIC YOUTH, bluesy dirge from CARLETON MORGAN, great garage stuff from UT and ETON CROP, and a lot more I’m pleased to hear from again or for the first time.

V/A Consumer Blackmail cassette

An awesome comp of international scope, though the majority comes from Japan. This tape was put together by Roger Armstrong for the joy of it, and he encourages people to duplicate it rather than purchase it. Includes too many to name.

V/A Auf Tierfang Durch Die Welt Für Unseren Zoo EP

All three bands here (two tracks each) are in older punk styles. Recordings vary in quality (some live, some studio), but there is a sameness to it all. Includes: BLANKER HOHN, KIE ERBEN, and R.Z. AMOK, all from Hamburg.

V/A Guest List cassette

A pretty cool comp featuring ten great Ohio HC bands, most of which have either been hiding or overlooked. Included are the talents of GUMBY’S REVENGE, PLASMA ALLIANCE, PPG, IDIOT HUMANS, NUMBSKULL, PLAGUE, and many more. Good Midwest sampler!

V/A End the Warzone EP

A high-speed comp 7” with such bands as LÄRM, PILLSBURY HARDCORE, STRAIGHT AHEAD, and ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT. All of this material is raging thrash topped off by a positive message. Extreme power and aggressiveness.

V/A Words Worth Shouting LP

Along the lines of Bullshit Detector, this LP is a collection of mainly English bands (with German and French representatives), a benefit for hunt saboteurs. It’s quite good, and introduces some relative unknowns like AXE THRASHER, DEATH ZONE, REVULSION, etc. as well as the likes of DISRUPTORS, HAINE BRIGADE, and NICK TOCZEK.

V/A We Don’t Need Nuclear Force LP

A pretty good world sampler featuring mostly previously released material that falls under the ranks of punk, hardcore, and post-punk. Some of the talents in the limelight are BOSKOPS, VARUKERS, TOXIC REASONS, RATTUS, WHITE FLAG, BRISTLES, and many others. Comes with a free six-song EP.

V/A Oi of Japan LP

Well, it had to happen, an Oi LP out of Japan, and it carries all those classic poundings from the English Oi hey-day. Chunky beats with sing-along chants and some wackiness, too. A wide variety of styles to choose from, with BAD VULTURES, COCKNEY COCKS, WANDERERS, BULL THE DOGS, and more. Fun and crazed.

V/A Devil Must Be Driven Out With Devil: Hold Up Omnibus LP

Hold Up Omnibus 2 is a speedcore delivery of grinding guitars and heavy power. Metallic licks and turbulent chords make this puppy hard. With the likes of LIP CREAM, GHOUL, UNITED, CITY INDIAN, and SAVER TIGER, the energy is ferocious and grits the teeth. Burly banzai beefcakes to smash at.

V/A Declaration of Fuzz LP

As good a neo-’60s compilation as you’ll find, this one covers the international scene with the likes of the STOMACH MOUTHS, BOYS FROM NOWHERE, MIRACLE WORKERS, CRIMSON SHADOWS, CORNFLAKE ZOO, and many, many more. High quality recordings, largely enjoyable punk and psych/punk.

V/A City Rockers LP

A four-band effort from Japan hitting on a wide scope of tunes with the maniac punk from GAUZE, PiL-type goodies from ISOLATION and RADICAL, and dreamy stuff from NURSERY RHYME. Great collection to sit back and enjoy when the speed zoomfest is dry. Each band works at their best.

V/A Livin’ in Peoria cassette

Such names as CHiPS PATROL, CAUSTIC DEFIANCE, HATE, and UNACCEPTED show what they are all about through the two-to-three songs each on this Peoria scene benefit comp. As a bonus, there are live tracks by bigger acts that have passed through this town, making for 26 songs. Raw production, of course.

V/A Limited Potential cassette

A variety-pack of US punk hands from these zine makers: POETIC JUSTICE, LOOKOUTS, GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS, NASAL WASTE, DEAD SILENCE, YOUR FORM OF GOVERNMENT, and even the HATES. Most of the bands have this in common—you can hear the lyrics, meaning they’re more punk than thrash.

V/A Fresh Sounds From Middle America #3 LP

This sampler resents diverse sounds from some familiar (MICRONOTZ, BUM KON, IGUANAS) and mostly relatively unknown bands. While side one is composed of adequate alternative pop tracks, the flip really lets loose with hard-edged punky tunes spanning most of the punk/HC spectrum. Interesting comp—and worth your attention.

V/A Chicago Garage Band Greats: The Best of Rembrandt Records 1966-1968 LP

Very good collection of Chicago bands from 1966 to 1968 recorded on the Rembrandt label. Most of the material here is either unreleased or different versions from bands like the LEMON DROPS, NITE OWLS, and NICKEL BAG. Nice mixture of blues, folk, and psychedelia.

V/A Bleeding Between the Lines cassette

Wally and the Beav comes up with another hot new comp, a prelude to their first vinyl effort. Band like LUDICHRIST, PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH, SHELL SHOCK, HYPE, A.P.P.L.E., DIRECT ACTION, RED TIDE, REST IN PIECES, and lots more supply the more-than-ample power. Overall fine sound, comes with booklet. Rips.

V/A On the Waterfront, Vol. 2 EP

A sampler from this mainly pop label. HAPPY HATE ME NOTS live up to that standard, EASTERN DARK clocks in with some cool psych noise, ITCHY ART come off with a driving dirge entitled “Attempting to Give Your Name to a Policeman While Tripping,” and TACTICS do a live folky punk ditty.

V/A 天橋立に来た岸壁の母 LP

A Kyoto-area comp featuring INFECT, SCABIES, WALTZ, FUCK GEEZ, SEX COMPLEX CLASS, and the SADIST. Mostly ’77 stuff except for ripping thrash from WALTZ and SADIST’s fast punk.

V/A Kaaos Zine Presents cassette

A Finnish-US effort (being sold in the US by BCT, in Europe by Kaaos). The US entries are ENTROPY, SPASTIC RATS, and CAUSTIC DEFIANCE, while from Finland hails MASSACRE, PRAVDA, and POLISTVALTIO. All I’m gonna say is HOT! Some of these bands never sounded better.

V/A Hard-Core Ljubljana LP

A bunch of Yugoslavian punk bands (U.B.R., III KATEGORIJA, EPIDEMIJA, TOZIBABE, ODPADKI CIVILIZAGIJE) present four to six songs each on this cool sampler. The mode of HC is grungy and loose, following the examples of the Italians, yet veering toward the speedier approach of the Northern Europeans. A very good sampler, and fairly consistent from song to song.

V/A Vile Vinyl, Vols. 1 & 2 LPs

The first of two volumes of a new ’60s punk reissue series is promising, though not quite up to the standard of the Back from the Grave series. It pretty much steers clear of the wimpy, flowing psychedelic snoozers and sticks to the rockers. Of these, the standout tracks are by the DIRTY SHAMES, CHANGIN’ TIMES, BELLES, NIGHTCRAWLERS, and GOOD FEELINGS. Volume One is better overall.

V/A A Piece of Mind cassette

Put out by the guys from DEAD SILENCE, this sampler contains quite a variety of styles as represented by such bands as RHYTHM PIGS, DEHUMANIZERS, BLATANT DISSENT, GLORIOUS DIN, AGAINST THE GRAIN, INSURGENCY, RIPCHORDS, CRUCIFIED TRUTH, DISARRAY, and tons more. Check it out.

V/A Budget Ranch Box 3×7″ box set

A weird marketing concept—three colored vinyl EPs boxed together. You get one by PEACE CORPSE (country metal weirdness), WHITE ’N’ HAIRY (funk doodling weirdness), and PILLSBURY HARDCORE (droning FLIPPER-ish weirdness). Pretty goddamn weird.

V/A Deep Six LP

Seattle-area bands here, mostly in the speed metal vein and no-so-speedy metal vein. You get two to four tunes each from GREEN RIVER, MELVINS, MALFUNKSHUN, SKIN YARD, SOUNDGARDEN, and one from U-MEN. Passable.

V/A V.I.S.A. Présente LP

The vast majority of the tracks here are post-punk of various stripes, with a few punk tracks interspersed (SUBHUMANS, RUBELLA BALLET, AUSWEIS, LUCRATE MILK). Other bands include K.U.K.L, BRIGADES, MARTYRS, SHOCK CORRIDOR, etc.). Sound quality varies from track to track with many live recordings. Interesting insert concept.

V/A What’s Going on Inside My Head cassette

A very raging international comp featuring such rippers as STUPIDS, MG 15, GEPØPEL, TERVEET KÄDET, INFERNO, CIVIL DISSIDENT, RAPT, NO LIP, DIATRIBE, and many more. Three or four songs each, non-stop intelligence, and an intense madhouse. Great.

V/A Why March When You Can Riot LP

An unusually well-documented comp that comes with a fold-open glossy cover that becomes a history of the many bands involved, lyric sheet, a family tree of bands, and poster collection. Bands include X, BEDSPREADS, JOHNNY DOLE AND THE SCABS, HARD-ONS, FEEDTIME (great!!), BEGGARS COURT, XL CAPRIS, and LOCAL PRODUCT. And, oh yes, the music is great. Hot job, Bruce!

V/A Stand the Storms Together cassette

A tremendous introduction to the current German underground scene. On this massive, 80-band, 90-track, three-hour compilation double-cassette, you’ll hear everything from ultra-fast thrash to melodic punk to synthesizer ravings with a variety of styles in between. Almost everything by both well-known and obscure bands is worthwhile listening, though there’s no information on which bands were on which side of the cassettes. Otherwise, improve your life and send away for these cassettes.

V/A Hiroshima Street Punx2 cassette

A great cassette comp of Japanese scorchers from Hiroshima. Wailing havoc with knock-me-cold punches from FUSE, MOO, DEAR JOHN, and FACE. Rough vocals with fast actions makes for a very exceptional offering. Side A definitely for those GISM/MAYHEM lovers. Intense.

V/A Rapsodie en France, Vol. 1 cassette

The French are smashing the boundaries of speedcore with eight out-of-control fiery bands. Just when you thought the explosion was over, the thrash terrorizes again with VANDALES, the tongue-twisting zoom battle of RAPT, FINAL BLAST, four exceptional tracks from BUTCHER, HEIMAT-LOS, BLOODY FUCKERS, and GONO COKE. There are enough tracks on this tape to drive you totally mad as this is a sheer intensified dose of quality chaos!!

V/A Pebbles, Vol. 19: The Continent Lashes Back! Pt. 3 Denmark LP

Taking their cue from the British “Big Beat” sound, these Danish bands are more Mersey than punk or raging R’n’B. While not a bad compendium, this record will mainly appeal to avid collectors as the recording facilities in Denmark were not the best. Plus, many of the tunes are covers, or covers of covers, and somewhat inferior at that. Historical document.

V/A P.T.T.P.’s International Comp Tape cassette

A good selection with two or three tracks each, starring INSTIGATORS, KAFKA PROSESS, PYHAKOULU, S.O.S., WRETCHED, AKUTT INLEGGELSE, SUBCULTURE, etc. Lots of energy, no clunkers, and decent-to-good sound.

V/A Noise Behind the Iron Dustbin cassette

A ten-band compilation made up of all Polish HC/punk bands. It’s a well-rounded mixture of live and studio tracks, most of which have never been released. All the common European hyper-noise is represented, with melodic hooks and leads thrown in for good measure. Includes DEZERTER, MOSKWA, ABADDON, and more.

V/A Composed Bananas No. 2 cassette

Pretty cool English comp featuring the likes of SLAUGHTER TRADITION, CRIMINAL JUSTICE, INFECTED, and many more under-recognized bands. A lot of catchy melodies and sing-alongs. Sound quality varies with the influences, but still very interesting.

V/A Be Bad, Be Glad cassette

A super hot tape that includes DISORDER, CHAOS UK, LUNATIC FRINGE, and AMEBIX. These tapes are either unreleased demos or in-house tapes. The sound quality is above average, and it all is powerful as hell. Class stuff.

V/A When Monkeys Were Gods! LP

A Detroit comp of mainly neo-’60s sounding bands. The Motor City has long been a holdout for this heritage, and some hot tracks are delivered by 3-D INVISIBLES, CINECYDE (still around!), and the BONERS. Other bands in a lighter vein include HYSTERIC NARCOTIC, FRAMES, SLEEP, VERTICAL PILLOWS, and BOOTSEY X AND THE LOVEMASTERS.

V/A SF Unscene LP

Not exactly a perfect overview of the SF scene, but a good sampler of the more shaggy-type bands like the CATHEADS and XTAL and some psycho-funk from FAITH NO MORE and THREE MOUSE GUITARS. Not earthshattering, but fun.

V/A Return of Godfodder cassette

This follow-up to the previous Godfodder comp covers new ground with the exposure of more experimental bands and ones that are closely related. Some of the talents include: GLORIOUS DIN, BRAIN RUST, MORK LANE, SARCASTIC ORGASM, and the list goes on. Pretty good production and as a whole, a nice package.

V/A Pebbles 17 LP

A non-geographical comp, this one is a cut above some of the previous multitude. The OTHERS, ROGUES, BRIMSTONES, and STYX come across with some cool ditties in punk and folk rock veins. Good comp job by Lee Joseph of YARD TRAUMA.

V/A Message From America: Hardcore Has Come of Age LP

Sadly, the two biggest names score very low overall. MENTAL ABUSE for being too long and metal, and the tracks by AGNOSTIC FRONT for being too dumb. Younger hands like SEIZURE, VIOLENT IMAGE, and SUBURBAN FLASHBACK come out with some real cool songs, though, for the real surprise of the album.

V/A Make It Work EP

Some great Connecticut punk and HC can be heard on this seven-song EP which comes free with the third issue of Run It fanzine. VATICAN COMMANDOS, YOUTH OF TODAY, CHRONIC DISORDER, and SEIZURE appear—a well-rounded bunch, to say the least. Music varies from intense thrash to funnypunk. Sound quality’s a bit on the bad side, but it’s worth getting your hands on.

V/A Hurricane Party cassette

A furious-paced comp from bands all over the US, most of which are pretty good sounding. Some groups are STEVIE STILETTO & SWITCHBLADES, REALITY OF TRAIL, MAGGOT SANDWICH, SHELL SHOCK, GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS, LEGION OF DECENCY, PSYCHODRAMA, and several more. Lots of music, lots of energy.

V/A Does Anyone Here Know How to Tune a Guitar? cassette

The bulk of the bands here hail from Ontario (ANGRY RAISINS, AFHAKKEN, PORCELAIN FOREHEAD, MADHOUSE, APB, TERMINALS, and more), while the remainder are from scattered US locations (BLATANT DISSENT, 1/2 JAPANESE, PSYCHOTIC NORMAN, etc.). Mostly punk, with some thrash and experimentation. Good sound quality.

V/A Back From the Grave, Vol. 6 LP

More two-chord rants about unresponsive gurls. I keep waiting for the quality in this series to decline so that I won’t have to bore everyone by reiterating how great these reissues are. But I guess I’ll have to wait longer, for this volume has mind-numbing ’60s punk gems by the SHAMES, SAVOYS, BARRACUDAS, etc. One of the few series which can honestly be described as “all killer, no friller.”

V/A Winterbastards Horrorshow cassette

A good mixture of high-power HC, speed-metal, and melodic mid-tempo garage thrash bands. The majority of tracks are unreleased and a few are recorded live. Standouts include: DER RISS, RAYMEN, IDIOTS, DIE MÄNNER. Something for everybody on this sampler.

V/A Wie Lange Noch… LP

An all-European comp LP with the bulk of the bands hailing from Germany. There’s quite a range of punk/hardcore styles evident, though the thrash from Holland’s PANDEMONIUM and Germany’s CIRCLE OF SIG TIU stand out for me. Other bands include ENOLA GAY, TIN CAN ARMY, WUT, A.N.A.L., EKLATANT, and France’s VERDUN. Comes with a thick magazine that leads me to believe that most of the songs are politically oriented.

V/A We Won’t Be Your Fucking Poor 2xLP

This next We Won’t/Don’t… LP is an international blow-out with the likes of D.O.A., SACRILEGE, VIRUS, DIATRIBE, OI POLLOI, DEATH SENTENCE, NIC TOCZEK, STONE THE CROWZ, POST MORTEM, A.O.A., CONFLICT, TOXIC REASONS, and tons more. Sound quality makes for a Bullshit Detector varied effect. Scant info included.

V/A Uskullisen Koirawsa Cragesmuren Valcossa cassette

A new compilation made up of Finnish and English bands. The Finnish side has the likes of RATS, SANCTUARY, and DORIAN GRAY, doing mostly raw, pre-released material. On the flip, we hear a ballet-type rant by ATTILA THE STOCKBROKER, and ten great melodic thrashing cuts by the UK ICONOCLASTS, who with their catchy riffs and vocals are the standouts here.

V/A Spiegel Derzett cassette

A good German HC sampler featuring many under-exposed bands like MOTTEK, CERESIT, DIE RUSSEN, INTERSCHROTT, and many more. Sound quality varies but still the music is listenable and enjoyable.

V/A 1984 the Second 2xLP

Spit out that raging energy with 38 bands delivering a wad of good slugs. This two-LP French comp also features a few international acts. This collection will separate the spine into sections with the likes of S.O.D., PSYCHO, HEIMAT-LOS, SOLUCIÓN MORTAL, MELAKKA, BUTCHER, and more. For thrash-mongers and punk-harbours.

V/A Have a Rotten Christmas, Vol. 2 LP

A compilation that features some well-established names in European punk and HC. With bands like the VARUKERS, NO CHOICE, RATTUS, and ENGLISH DOGS, you would think this would be a very powerful piece of vinyl. Well, it’s not, and most of the tracks are at the most average and leave no lasting impression. Nothing outstanding.

V/A Are You Ready to Be Interogated!!! cassette

This comp contains primarily demo tracks from the likes of AD NAUSEUM, STUPIDS, OI POLLOI, CHRONIC DISORDER, and a variety of less well-known bands, in appealing (and consistently political) songs. Very solid sampling of good bands.

V/A They Pelted Us With Rocks and Garbage LP

A Cleveland-area comp of varied underground bands. There’s hot punk/HC from SPIKE IN VAIN, OFFBEATS, DARK, GUNS, IDIOT HUMANS, as well as moodier post-punk from SHADOW OF FEAR, FAITH ACADEMY, DEATH OF SAMANTHA, and others. Outside of just a couple of tedious cuts, this record is fine listening.

V/A Them Boners Be Poppin’ LP

First NorCal comp in a while, this one features some East Bay bands (SPECIAL FORCES, BONELESS ONES, FANG), Sacto’s TALES OF TERROR, Santa Cruz’s BL’AST, and SF’s VERBAL ABUSE. Lots of metal or “heavy” punk, some thrash, and lots of power. Good recording brings out the best in these bands.

V/A Target You cassette

This excellent 90-minute tape will strike the fancies of the thrash speed metal, post-punk, and alternative music fanatic. The majority of the material comes from demo tapes and exposes several new bands, which makes it worth looking into. Book included.

V/A Ripping Headaches cassette

Crazed thrash attack, compliments of this 15-band international compilation. With the likes of CONCRETE SOX, SACRILEGE, WAR OF DESTRUCTION, and CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER, you might have guessed that a majority of the material is in the hard-hitting speed metal style. But also there are several great thrash moments brought to you by STUPIDS, ENTROPY, and LÄRM. If this sounds like your bag of tricks, then play it loud and I assure you that your ears will smile.

V/A Mr. Beautiful Presents All Hard LP

Mr. Beautiful must have his head up his butt, cuz outside of the FREEZE’s “Warped Confessional,” OYSTER’s “Headhunter,” and GANG GREEN’s “Let’s Drink Some Beer” (previously unreleased), you get mostly MTV-quality rock from a slew of groups. Occasionally OK moments, but overall it’s hurtin’.

V/A More…Harcore! cassette

Mostly SoCal bands like ENTROPY, ILL REPUTE, SCARED STRAIGHT, STUKAS OVER BEDROCK, DOGGY STYLE, DON’T NO, as well as DRILLS, and AMATEUR GYNECOLOGISTS. Sound quality varies, but everything rips… good listening. This label has also just released in the US the INSTIGATORS live tape.

V/A Matrax cassette

An all-female band comp put out as a non-profit project by two women in Canada. The music itself is all pretty hot, ranging in punk styles from thrash to classic punk to garage to pop/punk. Some bands included are: ICONOCLASTS, A.S.F., RAUNCHETTES, UNWARRANTED TRUST, INDUSTRIAL WASTE BAND, RUGGEDY ANNES, BARELY HUMAN, and PRE-METAL SYNDROME (among others). Good job, and comes with a booklet.

V/A It Came From the Pit LP

This excellent Northern sampler has something for everyone. You expect great tracks from SNFU, STRETCHMARKS, and NOMEANSNO, but this LP showcases other positive young bands like MY DOG POPPER, S.C.U.M., SUDDEN IMPACT, and the RUGGEDY ANNES. Entirely recommended.

V/A Dingleberry Stew cassette

An interesting hardcore sampler put together by the folks at Ax/ction records. Every branch of the thrash family is represented: metal thrash, generic thrash, speed thrash, good thrash, and bad thrash. Most of the material comes from demo tapes and offers something for everyone. Some the standouts include: VERBAL ASSAULT, STUPIDS, DEATH SENTENCE, and PTL KLUB.

V/A The Waking Dream LP

This is a sampler of little known, or even unknown “psychedelic” English bands. MAGIC MUSHROOM BAND and SLEEP & THE CREATURE VAMPIRES have something going, but the rest of these bands play uninspired marshmallow music. To top it off, most of these bands don’t even exist anymore. Consumer beware.

V/A Vieillesse Délinquante, Vol. I

A compilation of nine pop-punk/thrash bands from France. The music is split in half. 50% is average background, entertaining pop that at times becomes annoying. The remaining music consists of some really hard thrash, French style. For the most part, enjoyable and well worth looking into.

V/A Symphonies for the Disaffected cassette

An excellent comp which features some of the more popular politically conscious bands involved in the scene such as CONFLICT, OI POLLOI, ANTI-SYSTEM, STALAG 17, ICONS OF FILTH, and the list goes on. All the songs were recorded live at England’s infamous Station Club. Good sound quality. Recommended.

V/A Relying on Us EP

An intense power-thrash compilation which features OI POLLOI, H.D.Q., CRIMINAL JUSTICE, DEPRAVED—all who blast out incredibly loud, ranting, politically conscious songs. A powerful comp in which all the songs shred and will have a satisfying effect with each listening. My only complaint—no lyrics sheet.

V/A Jarocin’ 85 cassette

An hour tape containing nineteen Polish punk bands recorded live at the Jarocin music festival. With this compilation, the average music enthusiast can get ahold of the kind of punk Poland has to offer. The production and sound quality are really good considering the situation and conditions. Recommended.

V/A Ataque Sonoro LP

This hot Brazilian HC comp features ten bands and a variety of styles from supercharged thrash (RATOS DE PORÑO, LOBOTOMIA) to Oi (VÍRUS 27, GAROTOS PODRES—dig that harp!—and AUSCHWITZ) to folkish punk, classical punk, and even skate punk. The trebly Brazilian production adds to the appeal, and most of the lyrics are concerned with political issues like oppression, nuclear war, and corruption. Cool gatefold cover.

V/A Birdskit I LP

A four-band comp, featuring CRISMA KAOS (melodic thrash), SLAM (metal-laden), PAST (straight-on melodic thrash), and BIZARR (melodic thrash, with the most bite here). All in all, OK, but not awesome.

V/A Super Seven Sampler #2 7″

Yet another Mystic sampler of previously released material from the label’s former projects. Included are DR. KNOW, INSOLENTS, DOGGY STYLE, and more. Is this really necessary?

V/A Suburban Uprising: The Jersey Beat Collection cassette

Side one is largely “cheesy” (as Martin’s wont to say) pop, lightweight neo-’60s stuff (the kind that gave the ’60s a bad name back then), with only one passable track (MOD FUN). Side two of this all-New Jersey comp comes on with A.O.D., then back to cheese (psych and blues), then some rockin’ PLEASED YOUTH and SACRED DENIAL, a bit of garage, some STOOGES-like stuff from DAS DAMEN (pretty decent, Lyle), DOLLS-like material from SKULLS, and some jive fun from the PUNSTERS.

V/A Steve Compilation cassette

A raw dosage of noise thrash fronted by eight Florida bands. Speeding, blaring, and clashing seem to be the common themes among the musical styles, and some bands are tight while others are sloppy, which only adds to the character of this comp. The ear-catcher here has to be the songs by JEHOVAH’S SICKNESS.

V/A More Coffee for the Politicians LP

Another Phoenix compilation with JFA, MIGHTY SPHINCTER, and the SUN CITY GIRLS, but better than that are tracks from the new bands like BOOTBEAST CARNIVAL, HARVEST, HELLFIRE, and the very raunchy DIRT CLODS. Lots of instrumentals, strange industrial stuff, and best of all, raspy garage sounds.

V/A Bored of Directors cassette

A US/German sampler containing the likes of MANIACS, LOVE CANAL, CHRIST ON PARADE, VOMIT VISIONS, NRK, INFERNO, and many more. Sound quality is largely excellent, as well as the material.

V/A Let’s Die LP

All manner of “death” rock here, from metal to SIOUXSIE-style dreariness to TSOL-type moodiness, from a host of bands known and unknown. Includes ILL REPUTE, SUBTERFUGE, WHITE PIGS, MESS, AWOL, FALSE CONFESSION, and more. This is where I usually stick in a bad pun, but in this case I’m scared to try.

V/A Cultural Compost Pit cassette

Another blazing international comp featuring 35 bands from 17 countries. SOLUCIÓN MORTAL, NEGAZIONE, NO LIP, DEATH SENTENCE, MOB 47, FINAL BLAST, and INDIREKT are just some of the fine thrash bands that you will find on this recommendable cassette. A very tasty sampler.

V/A Bathroom Sounds cassette

This comp put together by the fanzine of the same name features bands from the Milwaukee and Chicago area. It exposes some great new thrash/punk bands, most of which possess a lot of potential. Notables include SELF GRATIFUCKATION, POLITICAL JUSTICE, OUT OF ORDER, and CRUSTIES. Good diversity keeps the listener’s attention. Booklet included.

V/A Vilda Vanor LP

This Swedish sampler dips into a variety of pop genres, from nifty pop-punk (KOTTGROTTORNA, TREDJE KONET, SPION 13), highly questionable new wave (WUTABOUT, FLYGANDE NUNNAN), and just plain rock (WHOOPS!, SCANDAL BEAUTIES). The songs vary considerably in quality, but some promising bands are represented, too.

V/A S.N.I.S.H. cassette

Another comp that will satisfy the tastes of all international HC fans and could possibly create some. Bands from eight countries, all of whom represent a unique sound. There are the “one-two-crash-bang “ bands and the melodic, sing-along ones. Definitely something for everybody and worth looking into. Booklet included.

V/A 77 KK LP

This one slipped by us somehow, so here’s the review, albeit late. One side is devoted to American bands (DOA, 76% UNCERTAIN, WHITE CROSS, etc.) in first-rate tracks mostly on other records already. The flip however, is all-French (TROTSKIDS, COLLABOS, and WARRIOR KIDS turn in especially good pop-punk efforts) and all unreleased. A very good comp; if the duplication doesn’t bother you, give it a listen.

V/A Questionable: The Compilation LP

Four bands contribute three tracks each on this comp, which is variable, but respectably workmanlike. BUNCHAFUCKINGOOFS are the only HC band represented, and provide some good satiric numbers, while LIVING PROOF shows vast improvement over their LP in a basic, rockish vein. ANIMAL STAGS specialize in mid-tempo goofoid rock, and MADHOUSE are forgettable. A 35/65 affair.

V/A The Vikings Are Coming LP

This Swedish compilation showcases a variety of newer bands, some rather promising. BEDRÖVLERZ and CRUDE SS whip away at their three songs each, while BIZARR demonstrates a pop-punk sensibility worth noting. Five other bands put in workmanlike efforts on this variable, but largely entertaining LP.

V/A Pinch and Ouch! LP

A regional compilation from Kyushu Island in the south of Japan, this baby features two or three tracks each from six bands: GAI, GEDON, GESS, NO-CUT, AGGRESSIVE DOGS, and KURO. Most all is in a hard-driving original punk style, sounding really good and straightforward. Fine musicianship and production are hallmarks in Japan, and this one is no letdown. Hot.

V/A Now Is the Time to Act cassette

A well thought out and executed compilation that features not only politically conscious bands, music, and lyrics but also editorials, essays, pamphlets, contact lists, and much more! The music’s on two 90-minute tapes and features 35 groups from 14 countries. The profits go towards Greenpeace and Rape Crisis. I hope more comps lean toward this direction in the future. Recommended!

V/A No Visible Scars EP

An all-Scottish sampler, starring OI POLLOI, LAST RITES, DISTEMPER, and the CONDEMNED. There’s a decidedly Oi-ish feel to this punk and skin band comp, with OI POLLOI taking the honors with “Boot Down the Door,” a killer track. Otherwise nothing startling.

V/A The Final Solution cassette

Yet another concept compilation. This time the concept is “baldness”! This one features skin/Oi bands from around the world. The majority of the songs are really enjoyable, but then, the majority of the lyrics are not transcribed! One can only hope they don’t fall into the skinhead stereotype. Booklet included.

V/A Došao Je Kraj cassette

Twelve Yugoslavian HC outfits prove their stuff on this compilation. All ranges of speed and extremely raw production, with manic thrash (Yugoslav style) add to the character of this tape, although I do feel only International HC fans will really enjoy it.

V/A Babylon: Bleibt Fahren LP

A great live comp with so much energy and solid attacks. Featuring speedy stuff from LÄRM, PANDEMONIUM, WRETCHED, NEUROOT, BOSKOPS, and aggression from the likes of MDC, BGK, AMEBIX, VARUKERS, and much more. Lots of tunes, nicely recorded, comes with a thick book, and is cheaply priced.

V/A Alles Stirbt cassette

An ambitious all-European sampler, with German bands predominating. The tape comes with a booklet, wherein all the lyrics are translated into English for international consumption. Bands include KGB, KINA, WUT, ANTI-HEROES, ASOCIAL, SECOND AUSCHWITZ, HOSTAGES OF AYATOLLAH, SCREAMING DEAD, and more.

V/A Skate Rock, Vol. 3: Wild Riders Of Boards LP

Die-cut cover in the shape of a skateboard, featuring some classic speedcore renditions with 90% new tracks by C.O.C., SEPTIC DEATH, ACCÜSED, CHRIST ON PARADE, BEYOND POSSESSION, GANG GREEN, SLAM, BONELESS ONES, and NO RULES. Will attract a wide audience with this over-abundant sampler.

V/A War Between the States: North & South cassettes

A great sampler of some of the States’ “up and coming” or “already there” bands. 40 bands produce countless numbers of songs and touch on several different musical influences. Two 90-minute cassettes, one with bands originating from the Northern states, and one with bands from down South. Overall, a really good package. Booklet included.

V/A 99th Floor flexi EP

A hot neo-’60s flexi that accompanies issue #7 of 99th Floor fanzine. Side A is a total ’60s punk killer with songs by the BROOD and the BOYS FROM NOWHERE (who cover the Jeff Conolly tune of the same name). The flip is definitely not up to that standard, but the TELL-TALE HEARTS’ number is vastly better than their previous vinyl offerings; the PODZ’ live cut is raunchy but poorly recorded.

V/A Moose Nuggets cassette

This Alaskan comp presents some pretty good bands (SKATE DEATH, CLYNG-ONS) and some others (PSYCHEDELIC SKELETONS, BUTT CLITS, LOGAN), but the sound quality of those live recordings is pretty hurting, making this non-mandatory.

V/A Just an American Band cassette

This comp has something for everyone: thrash, metal, underground pop are all here. Nineteen bands from across the US (hence the title), each kicking out several songs ranging on production and influences.

V/A Illusions of Beauty cassette

A compilation put together by the people at Bullsheet fanzine, which features 12 bands from around the US. Again, the material coming from previously released demo tapes, etc., also a great sampler of up-and-coming bands. Some of the standouts include V.O.A., VERBAL ASSAULT, KNOCKABOUTS, and NO RESPONSE. Booklet included.

V/A Who’ll Survive cassette

This latest comp from Hollenqual contains hot tracks from the likes of VICIOUS CIRCLE, HALF LIFE, NEGAZIONE, BLUTTAT, HEIMAT, CRUDE SS, GEPØPEL, DETONATORS, NIKOTEENS, DOWN SYNDROME, and more. Good sound quality, though there are several tracks that were submitted by bands off their vinyl releases. All in all, a powerful collection, including the tracks from unknowns like GROFTROSEN.

V/A Welthits Aus Hamburg cassette

This all-Hamburg comp (past and present bands) is accompanied by a 20-page booklet, and contains all sorts of punk and hardcore styles. The bands are largely unknown to me though some familiar monikers popped up (CHANNEL RATS, HH-MILCH, BOIKOTTZ, KOMA KOMBO, TORPEDO MOSKAU). Enjoyable historical retrospective.

V/A Vilag Lazadoi Harcra Fel EP

Hungary is well-represented by this four-track compilation EP, which contains some intriguing punk and hardcore material; especially powerful is ETA, whose track sounds amazingly like AGENT ORANGE’s “Bloodstains.” (This is on Primitiv Cozak, a division of France’s New Wave label dedicated to presenting Eastern European releases. More power to them for the initiative.) Some fine stuff on this one.

V/A There’s More Than Male Voice Choirs in Wales cassette

This comp features 12 Welsh bands that represent a great sampling of talent from the area. Most of the songs are medium-paced, and the stand-outs include SLAUGHTERED TRADITION, NO CHOICE, and SOLDIER DOLLS. All in all, worth looking into. Booklet included.

V/A Ljubljana cassette

Containing some powerful and well-recorded tracks from EPIDEMIJA, TOZIBABE, U.B.R., ODPADKI CIVILIZACIJE, and III KATEGORIJA, most of whom shred in the early Finnish tradition. Highly recommended.

V/A Anglican Scrape Attic flexi EP

It’s excellent, yes, with LA speed-metalists HIRAX who scream it out and through your throat; Japanese guitar aces EXECUTE deliver an excruciating blow; LIP CREAM always awesome; and from the UK, mindblowing speedcore stuff from CONCRETE SOX and SACRILEGE. Every person wants this ’cause it’s made by two people who are in the scene, Dig and Kalv. Thanks guys, until next time.

V/A When Men Were Men… and Sheep Were Scared LP

Besides an outrageously funny and lewd cover, this comp delivers two tracks each by eight SoCal bands, most who hail from the Long Beach area; RHINO 39, VANDALS, RED BERET, CREWD, FALLEN IDOLS, SECRET HATE, NIP DRIVERS, and TARGET OF DEMAND turn in surprisingly unraucous tracks, mostly in the mid-tempo HC vein. Decent, but not mind-blowing.

V/A Innocent Victims cassette

From Texas comes this compilation which features bands from across the country, with the exception of Italy’s RAW POWER. The majority of the material is in the thrash vein and comes from previously released demos or vinyl. Some standouts include MORAL DISGUST, AGNOSTIC FRONT, CHRONIC DISORDER, VERBAL ASSAULT, and ILL REPUTE.

V/A Clockwork Orange County LP

They snuck this stuff out from behind the Orange Curtain, the stronghold of ultra-fanatical right-wingers here in the US. And yes, even in this suburban hell, an underground exists (and an extensive one at that). The likes of D.I., DOGGY STYLE, JUST BECAUSE, EXOBIOTA, CONVICTED, BLIND HATRED, LOVE CANAL, and tons more (only notable exclusion is UNIFORM CHOICE) turn in one song each in many varied punk styles. Good comp with high sound quality.

V/A T.T.T. cassette

There are three German guys from AJZ Youth Center (where many of the tracks here were recorded live) peering over my shoulder, making sure I give this tape a good review. Like most live tapes, I think charm is there only if you’re really into or friends with the band, so these guys love it. There are German bands like NUCLEAR, RAZZIA, BLUTTAT, NIKOTEENS, etc., as well as foreigners like TOXIC REASONS, MOB 47, KANGRENA, BGK, JERRY’S KIDS, etc…

V/A A Message From Camp Sunshine cassette

An international comp tape inspired by Chris of BCT. This effort covers a bit of Spain, England, Canada, Germany, Sweden, and Holland. Represented are ANTI-DOGMATIKSS, MANIACS, CHRONIC SUBMISSION, RÖVSVETT, CERESIT 81, POST-MORTEM, BLACK VAMPIRE, ANTI-HEROES, AD NAUSEUM, FIEND, and BLUTTAT. Good sound quality. More comps to come.

V/A Kloak Mix 3 cassette

A benefit tape for Greenpeace, and, in a word, awesome. Incredibly tight and powerful yet melodic Swedish thrash from S.O.D. (get their EP) RAPED TEENAGERS, ASTA KASK, ASOCIAL, DISTRUST, HERRAIDS, and MOB 47.

V/A Dementia 5 cassette

This unusual comp accompanies Hide zine #5. And unusual it is, in that all of side one features all-female bands (FIFTH COLUMN, ASF, UNWARRANTED TRUST, WORD OF MOUTH, CURSE, BETTYS, GIRL WAR III), an effort to “make women an integral force in punk once again.” Side two features women and men together, such as MYDOLLS, RAGGED BAGS, and many more. Varying degrees of sound and competency.

V/A Flight to Lowlands Paradise, Vol. 2 LP

The follow-up to Pebbles #15? This Part 2 contains mostly punk with lots of fuzz, a few covers, and at least average material and bands. Pretty cool raves from the TYKES and VIKINKS. Most material is from 1966-’67.

V/A Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Vols. 18-22 LPs

The ’60s reissues continue to pour out: #18 is Colorado, a mixed bag but with cool stuff from MOONRAKERS. #19 covers Michigan (Pt. 3), with a pre-STOOGES track of Iggy with the IGUANAS. #20 is LA (Pt. 4), and might well be the best of the new lot with classics from the MUGWUMPS, LAST WORDS, and others. #21 covers Ohio (Pt. 2) with average material. Finally, #22, and the South (Pt. 2), with a lot of folk rock stuff and a classic by DICK WATSON 5 extolling the virtues of intellectualism!

V/A Welcome to Venice LP

Did somebody slip a GBH record inside this jacket? Metalcore to the max by SUICIDAL TENDENCIES and their homeboy buddies BEOWULF, LOS CYCOS, NO MERCY, and EXCEL. Somehow, between the metal sound, song titles, and artwork, I don’t think this project goes too far in convincing me that Mike Muir really is down on the macho, violent gang mentality he professed in MRR.

V/A Crabtowne cassette

Although sometimes of garage production standards, there’s more than enough hot material to warrant this Annapolis-area comp. SPASTIC RATS, FIT OF RAGE, STRICTLY PROHIBITED, CHRIST ON A CRUTCH, SICK CHILDREN, HATED, PURGATORY, ROADSIDE PETZ, and the RUDE thrash their way into your geographical memory.

V/A The Trousers in Action EP

A four-band, four-song sampler from the Australian zine of the same name (comes with issue #14). Most all of the groups (POSITIVE HATRED, SUICIDE SQUAD, BOX OF FISH, and VIGIL-ANTI) play slow punk/post-punk with rhythmic appeal and rawish yet clean guitar sounds. Good idea.

V/A Nå Eller Aldri EP

This is a superior hardcore release from Norway. It includes both relatively well-known bands (SISTE DAGERS HELVETE and AKUTT INNLEGGELSE) and more obscure outfits (KAFKA PROSESS, ANGOR WAT, LANDSSVIK and PSYKISK TERROR), but the musical standard is almost uniformly high. PSYKISK TERROR’s cut is particularly outstanding; it sounds a lot like TERVEET KÄDET’s better material.

V/A Ground Zero cassette

Quite an undertaking, this tape contains 40 cuts of bands from just about every country where punk flourishes. The sound quality and choice of material is good and hot, and comes with a zine as well. A project well worth supporting and enjoying!

V/A Thrasher’s Digest Fanzine Compilation #1 cassette

A US compilation consisting of IBEX, VOA, BUTT ACNE, JUVENILE BEHAVIOR, BEDLAM, A.O.D., MAGGOT SANDWICH, LONELY CROWD, and MUTES. Varying sound quality and musicianship, but overall an OK comp.

V/A Sanitized for Your Protection cassette

A whole range of anarcho music, mostly in the British anarchist band tradition, but also including sparse post-punk, poetry, and semi-industrial—all of it coming off pretty well. R.A.F. PUNK, ICONOCLAST, INDIREKT, HAGAR THE WOMB, DECADENT FEW are among the choices. Some disparity in sound quality, but most is up to snuff. Good job.

V/A No Enemies, Please! cassette

A domestic US comp featuring VATICAN COMMANDOS, VERBAL ASSAULT, CAPITLE, LOST GENERATION, SACRED DENIAL, PLASTIC BANGS, and CANCEROUS GROWTH from the East; BURNING WITCHES and MINISTRY OF TRUTH from the West; and TOEJAM from the Southwest. Good sound quality and good studio production are the call of the hours, as are the performances themselves. Well done.

V/A The Sound Of Hollywood: Du BEAT-e-o LP

From an underground movie that stars JOAN JETT, TEX (of the HORSEHEADS), Derf Scratch (FEAR), and El Duce (MENTORS). Includes incidental music, dialogue, and some pretty good tunes from SOCIAL DISTORTION, TEX AND THE HORSEHEADS, MENTORS, JOHANNA WENT, and a killer track from DR. KNOW. Although there are some cool tracks here, it’s not the kind of thing you’re going to slap on the turntable too often.

V/A Drinking is Great EP

Four of the Northwest’s best thrash bands put together on a 7” with excellent, powerful production. POISON IDEA, still one of the raspiest, gnarliest thrash bands, careens through a track called “Laughing Boy.” And both LOCKJAW and FINAL WARNING have crunching, muscular tracks, while the song by E13 draws more from the ANGRY SAMOANS. Buy this record now.

V/A Cursed Earth cassette

A bizarre East meets West combo. One side contains D.C. area bands (EXHUMED LUNCH, SPASTIC RATS, MALICE, G.I., UNITED MUTATION, etc.) and the flip are all from Albuquerque, New Mexico (JERRY’S KIDS, AKA, WONGS, and more). Slightly uneven in sound equalization, but overall, it’s an enjoyable thrash/noise experiment.

V/A Bands on the Block LP

From the graphic look of the cover and band names, I would’ve thought this was a largely punk record. Not so. Fully two-thirds of it is various forms of new wave—some listenable, a lot not. It’s only with the last eight or so tracks on side two that we get some punk, with cuts from many bands previously not recorded such as HICKOIDS, SHOCKHEAD, CRIMINAL CREW, HAPPY DEATH, IDEALS, and JEFFERSONS (ex-DICKS minus Gary). Mixed bag.

V/A Alive and Kicking EP

This mini-comp proves the D.C. scene is indeed alive and kicking with six tracks, all by different bands. The standards are solid all-around, though the songs by MARGINAL MAN, UNITED MUTATION, and GRAY MATTER seemed especially impassioned. Good record.

V/A Der Idiotische Hustensaft cassette

Totally excellent tape that presents a wide variety of powerful punk/HC styles. Bands appearing include: IDIOTS, BEDROVLERZ RIM SHOUT, DIE ANNER, NORMAHL, RAYMEN, SCREAMING DEAD, DER RIB, SEPTIC PSYCHOS, etc. Rips!

V/A Punk Revolution cassette

This international comp features mainly Finnish, Swedish, and Brazilian bands, with a sprinkling of US and Australian. Some of the bands are: BRISTLES, MOB 47, TA.S.K. W.D.M., D.T.A.L., MASSACRE, R.O.T.A., VICIOUS CIRCLE, RUIDOS ABSURDOS, and many others. Varying sound quality, all savage.

V/A Revenge of the Fun Squad cassette

Yet another international comp featuring Swiss, English, French, and other bands. Mainly featured are HELVET DISORD, XPOZEZ, VERDUN, STAHLWILLE, and VICIOUS CIRCLE. OK, but the sound quality is not the best.

V/A Single Ticket to Paradise EP

This is a great effort, totally mindblowing EP featuring POWERAGE, PERMANENT DAMAGE, HUMAN BEINGS, TA.S.K., CANCEROUS GROWTH, CCM, and RATTUS. Just the right amount of sonic speed energy to flail the fire at. A world sampler 7” that scorches the wax right off some of these so-called sampler LP’s. Yea—I support this, it’s one of those rave reviews.

V/A Rot in Hell LP

Rot’s international comp with 13 bands and 22 songs featuring the VARUKERS (always kicking ass), D.O.S., BLEED, OVERDOSE, OI POLLOI, ANGRY RATS, XXX, NO CONCERN, and more. Lots of good music in a melodic vein, some fast, most medium-paced. Enjoyable for a whole sitting. Check into this.

V/A Quelli Che Urlano Ancora… LP

Maybe I’m getting spoiled by all the great Italian HC releases of late, because this comp just doesn’t reach the energy or excitement level I’ve grown accustomed to. Most of the bands here (BASTA, CANI, DIOXINA, HOPE & GLORY, ROUGH, SS20, KLAXON, among others) turn in older-style punk or Oi sounds that just don’t overwhelm. Even the normally excellent NABAT doesn’t really break through.

V/A Party Pooping Punk Provocations! LP

Shesk and the Xcentric Noise R.A.T.S. continue to keep those creative juices flowing, this time with a British compilation. A well-diversified sampler with thrash mayhem from the STUPIDS, Oi-type sounds from SAMPLES and PROTEST, power Britpunk from DEATH ZONE, SELF-ABUSE, ATROX, and ANNIHILATED, and the post-punk melodies of QUEL DOMMAGE with crazy blurbs between each song.

V/A La Lucha Continua!!! cassette

Three fine Spanish outfits (ODIO SOCIAL, ANTI-DOGMATIKSS, and AUTODEFENSA) share this 15-song tape—and each of the bands have something special to offer. The basic mode here is highly political thrash, and the sound is so frantic and committed that I think these tracks could justifiably be on vinyl. This is a great job; buy it!

V/A Hell’s Bent on Rockin! LP

Rockabilly, the punk of its time, meets today’s punk in Psychobilly, some of the results are recorded herein. While the METEORS (who appear here) broke this trend, tons of bands have followed. And while the genre is even more restrictive than punk or HC, it still sounds good, especially the RESTLESS, DEMENTED ARE GO, and ROCHEE AND THE SARNOS. Enjoyable rockin’.

V/A Fala LP

A Polish compilation LP that features both HC and reggae bands. Surprisingly well-recorded for the most part, there are some strong tracks by PROWOKACJA, ABADDON, TILT, and DEZERTER, among others, but the standout track is the title song of the LP, done by SIEKIERA. Find it if you can.

V/A Chaos in Europe LP

Despite a well-drawn but obnoxious macho cover with blatant evocations of violence, the third Chaos Production compilation proves to be another very strong release. This one has bands from all over Europe on if, thereby extending its range and variety. Herein one can find the standard French-style skunk (KOMINTERN SECT, REICH ORGASM, L’ENFANTS SAUVAGES, and Spain’s DECIBELIOS), catchy pop punk (AL KAPOTT, DREI ORLOK, Spain’s TNT, Holland’s NV LE ANDEREN, and a killer cut from Sweden’s ASTA KASK) pure Oi (BRUTAL COMBAT and Italy’s NABAT), and all sorts of punk (the KAMBRONES, Germany’s F.F.F. and NEUROTIC ARSEHOLES, and Sweden’s SLAM). Highly recommended.

V/A A Real Cool Time LP

By now everyone’s heard of the NOMADS, but what a pleasure to find they’re just the “tip of iceburg” as is proved by this “Distorted Sounds from the North” comp. Incredible neo-’60s punk rages forth from SHOUTLESS SLOBSTER, PYROMANIACS, CREEPS, WAYWARD SOULS, and tons more as well as aforementioned forerunners, the NOMADS. Shiver me timbers, this is awesome.

V/A Alle 24 Goed! LP

An all-Belgium comp. featuring CAPITAL SCUM, KOYAANISQUATSI, WAR RISK 3, ZYKLOME A, VORTEX, and WULPSE VARKENS. This is also an all-hardcore comp, most of which is above average and well-worth obtaining.

V/A AJZ Live Trash cassette

A 50/50 proposition. The bands, with the likes of FRITES MODERN, PORNO PATROL, MAU MAUS, UPRIGHT CITIZENS, DOA, etc. are world-class, and the songs are uniformly excellent. Unfortunately, most of the recordings were culled from hand-held walkman cassettes, which doesn’t help the sound quality. I must admit that the excitement comes through, though.

V/A Pebbles 16 LP

I guess this is where we start hitting the dross of Greg Shaw’s collection. Instead of great, nasty fuzzy punk songs from the ’60s, we’re treated to wimpy pop bands masquerading as hip political folk rock (aargh!). Although the two tracks by the GRAVEYARD 5 are pretty cool, it’s getting harder and harder to recommend this series when there are excellent compilations elsewhere.

V/A New Jersey’s Got It? LP

Nine Garden State beauties (A.O.D., STETZ, CHILDREN IN ADULT JAILS, SACRED DENIAL, MY 3 SONGS, CYANAMID, PLEASED YOUTH, BODIES IN PANIC, BEDLAM) blossom forth in a well-cultivated comp. No rotten tomatoes here—just plump pickins. Jersey’s finest.

V/A Flipside Vinyl Fanzine, Vol. 2 LP

While most of these tracks fall into the category of “good; but weak production,” you still get some pretty rippin’ tunes from MIA, DECRY, ROACH MOTEL, and DISORDERLY CONDUCT. The tracks from NAKED RAYGUN, OUTPATIENTS. and D.I. are very hot. Special live recordings from the MISFITS, JFA, and the GERMS. Cool poster included, too.

V/A Claws! LP

This third Throbbing Lobster comp again contains mostly pop or garage bands with some noteworthy moments—being the PRIME MOVERS, and the re-emergence of CLASSIC RUINS and WILLIE LOCO ALEXANDER, and a good track from LAST STAND. Humor Dep’t: MIGHTY IONS’ “Pedro Morales” to the tune of “California Uber Alles.” Band to watch for according to Dave Scott, who says “VOLCANO SUNS will be the next HÜSKER DÜ.”

V/A What Doesn’t Hurt Us Makes Us Stronger LP

I’m a bit confused by the sentiments of the title, but not by the music that appears here. It’s had to go wrong with the likes of DRI, MDC, INFERNO, MANIACS, CCM, PORNO PATROL, ZERSTORTE JUGEND, etc. Lots of powerhouse punk and thrash here. It’s a good one!

V/A Hideous Headchop’n cassette

A thrash extravaganza from stem to stern. An international comp, this includes ANTI-DOGMATIKSS, LÄRM, MOB 47, CERESIT 81, CÓLERA, CHRONIC SUBMISSION, NEGAZIONE, BURNING WITCHES, KROMOZOM 4, DECLINO, BRISTLES, SKULLDIGGERS, NIKOTEENS, and more. Quite powerful, excellent production, and high fucking energy.

V/A France Profonde LP

Most of the bands here pump out pretty decent mid-tempo punk, but there are a few real gems interposed. KIDNAP turns in a wonderful sing-along, L’INFANTERIE SAUVAGE hits with a real up-tempo Oi number, and LES PORTE-MENTAUX turns in a really great pop-punk number that combines HEARTBREAKERS guitar riffs with a classic ’77 English punk-style tune. A good release from a new label.

V/A Dawn of a New Age cassette

A benefit tape comp for the Animal Liberation Front, this is a co-release from Bluurg and Sabotage tapes. Artists contributing are the SUBHUMANS, ATROX, INSTIGATORS, REALITY CONTROL, PSYCHO FACTION, POLITICAL ASYLUM, KULTURKAMPF, and several others. Good sound quality and good music and information.

V/A Thrasher the Cat’s Favourite Tunes cassette

A comp that features many cuts each by the likes of LEGION OF PARASITES (UK), EX-HUMANS (Greece), DETONATORS (US), ANEEB (Germany), and many more newcomers like NEGATIVZ, OBSCENE FEMALES, etc. Okay.

V/A Tales From the Western Shore cassette

An all-Vancouver tape, this baby contains mostly live recordings of varying quality (mostly decent to good). Includes BILL OF RIGHTS, IMMORAL MINORITY, A.O.T., UNKNOWN FIBRES, DEATH SENTENCE, FITZ, SPORES, and more.

V/A Schweinerei cassette

NIXKONNER, ANNEXION RUSKI, and SEX TEENS, and the recording is fairly good. Basic thrash and punk is featured on this one, nothing particularly astounding, though there is some up-and-coming underground talent evident on this cassette.

V/A The Raw Power of Life 2 cassette

An all-Eurpoe compilation that features, surprise, RAW POWER, along with HEIMAT-LOS, MOB 47, SUBHUMANS, WUT, GEPØPEL, BOIKOTTZ, CAPITAL SCUM, and more. Good sound quality, and there are 30 songs.

V/A Noć nad Jugoslavijom cassette

An all-Yugoslavian compilation featuring a shitload of HC bands, most of whom you’ve probably read about in reports here before. Sound quality is okay, but not great due to difficult circumstances, but there’s still lots of noise to enjoy—both studio and live.

V/A The Punx: Street Movement cassette

Very strange. This package is incredibly elaborate: sturdy box enclosure, 84-page book detailing the history and discography of Japanese punk/hardcore in color, and typically wonderful Japanese punk graphics—all leading up to…a six-band cassette? Yep. Two songs each by LAUGHIN’ NOSE, GAS, GISM, WILLARD, LIP CREAM, and COBRA. Not that the music is bad (it’s not), but somehow I’d have expected the tape itself to be as comprehensive as the literature. Still, a collector’s item.

V/A Graveyard-Hits cassette

A variety of underground German HC bands share this tape, including TIN CAN ARMY, IDIOTS, ANI(X)VAX, and eleven others. The sound quality is adequate, the songs respectable, and the tape’s a good value for those curious about the prolific German hardcore scene.

V/A Garage Goodies, Vol. 1 LP

On first listening, I didn’t think that many covers on this neo-’60s garage collection cut it, but I’m changing my mind right now. Classy acts like the CANNIBALS, X-MEN, and MILKSHAKES are joined by equally raw outfits like KILLED IN ACTION, VERTEX, and BAD KARMA BECKONS. How could a record with a band called LEGENDARY VEGETARIANS on it be bad?

V/A Suicide Omnibus 8″ flexi EP

No name to this Japanese collection, but at least the bands are identifiable : the SEXUAL, CONFUSE, JIGA, and M78 (actually a “fuck” band with members of GAS, GASTUNK, GHOUL, and SYSTEMATIC DEATH). All the tracks on this EP shred, with noise thrash and DISORDER-type thrash prevailing. Great!

V/A Disorder cassette

Mostly high-quality recordings of high-quality bands, like UPRIGHT CITIZENS, BEDRÖVLERZ, DEPRESSION, CHRONIC SUBMISSION, AOD, EXECUTE, DEZERTER, HEIMAT-LOS, SOLUCION MORTAL, OFFENDERS, SVART FRAMTID, etc. Good collection.

V/A Deflagration, Vol. III cassette

Quite an international line-up, starring UNDERAGE, DEZERTER, KROMOSOM 4, SCAPEGOATS, UNNATURAL SILENCE, FOAD, NEON CHRIST, BLOEDBAD, PROTEST!, INFERNO, and more. It’s non-stop thrash, for the hyper among us.

V/A Sin Alley LP

This collection of early recordings (1955-’61) presents a clutch of wild rockers plunging into the roots of the genre. ROY CAINES, TONY CASANOVA, MEL MCGONNIGLE, RHYTHM ROCKERS, and CRAZY TEENS provide raunchy, rockin’ fun in a distinctly ’50s style, though some of the other tracks are less impressive. A treasure trove of obscurities.

V/A Rippling Flesh #1 cassette

One side is entirely US up-and-coming outfits, with the likes of PUNKS, KNOCKABOUTS, CAPITLE, PSYCHO, NO IDENTITY, ART THIEVES, JERK WARD, and TOE JAM. The other is an all-German line-up, starring R.A.F. GIER, RANOLA, RAZZIA, MOTTEK, EA80, BLUTTAT, and a few others. Sound quality is usually good.

V/A Big City’s One Big Crowd LP

A NY-Metropolitan Area compilation featuring the UNJUST, ARMED CITIZENS, ULTRA VIOLENCE, SHEER TERROR, PSYCHOS, SHOK, KRIEGKOPF, PLEASED YOUTH, SACRED DENIAL, BODIES IN PANIC, BEDLAM, A.O.D., 76% UNCERTAIN, VATICAN COMMANDOS, CHRONIC DISORDER, VIOLENT CHILDREN, and more. With a line-up like that, I’m sure you know what you’re getting—no saxophones!

V/A Back From the Grave, Vol. 5 LP

Once again Crypt has come up with an above-average selection of snotty ’60s obscurities for our listening pleasure. Most all of the tunes are punk with that mid-’60s English R’n’B influence—guitar-oriented with snarling vocals. Bands such as the KEGGS, FEW, NOBLES, ILLUSIONS, and lots more deliver that real “intellectual” stuff that makes the EXPLOITED look like real geniuses.

V/A Winnipeg 1965-66: The Best of Eagle Records LP

Nothing especially mandatory here, although it’s not a poor collection either, with tracks from the QUID, SHAG, SATAN & THE D-MEN, and others. In 20 years, will Greg Shaw be documenting the current punk scenes as methodically? Will kids in 2005 even care what’s happening now?

V/A I Thrash, Therefore I Am cassette

Most of the bands here are from Scandinavia, with a smattering from the UK, Germany, and Belgium. There are anywhere from one to nine tracks each by such manic luminaries as MOB 47, EXISTENZ, ANTI-CIMEX, MODERAT LIKVIDATION, MOTTEK, ENOLA GAY, AKUTT INNLEGGELSE, and several more.

V/A Broken Frontiers / Broken Chains cassette

A European sampler featuring XPOZEZ, ANTI-DOGMATIKKS, KINA, WRETCHED, VARUKERS, UPRIGHT CITIZENS, MG 15, NEGAZIONE, and more. Sometimes rough sound quality, but comes with a neat magazine.

V/A Never Mind ’77… & …This is ’84 cassettes

This altogether surprising duo of cassette compilations features well-known outfits like FRITES MODERN, PEGGIO PUNX, MOTTEK, and OLHO SECO—plus a variety of cuts from a clutch of promising new bands. The breadth of punk and hardcore styles represented on these two tapes, in addition to the general quality of the music, helps make these cassettes highly recommended additions to your collection. Intelligent and well-conceived.

V/A Hardcore Power Music Part 2

A storming German sampler with all your faves and some new faces. Lots of different attacks with creative approaches, it’s a good slap of Deutsch hardcore. With the incredible INFERNO whose track “Ein Tag im Schatten” really shows their intensity, plus some classic tracks from the MANIACS, MOTTEK, TIN CAN ARMY, and RAZZIA. And new entries by the IDIOTS, LUSTFINGER, KSF, AUSBRUCH, and SCHLUCKSPECHTE. Well done musically, but why do these German labels always rip off Wrightson for cover art? Thanx Winni!

V/A Beware of the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing LP

An incredible comp from Holland featuring seven bands with a good selection of several songs each. Lots of good Dutch thrash from NO PIGS, who continue the madness evident on their blasting EP, sheer havoc from S.C.A., power and energy of NOG WATT, the split second attack from GEPØPEL, the sonic thrust of DEADLOCK, and good tracks from HIROSHIMA NOODUITGANG and INDIREKT. In the tradition of Dutch samplers like Als Je Haar… this is a fine release.

V/A Another Crummy Comp cassette

The title of this comp isn’t strictly accurate, nor could it be with the likes of AVSKUM, XPOZEZ, SCAPEGOATS, and 15 other international bands. In fact, the song quality is quite good, with a political backbone braced with sincerity and honesty. Sound quality’s fine, too.

V/A Underground Bullshit, Vol. 1 cassette

A garagy and nifty area collection of some of SoCal’s thrashing young outfits. There are tracks by FATAL ERROR, MAD PARADE, CHAOTIC NOISE, S.O.S., ARTISTIC DECLINE, BAD INFLUENCE, MOX NIX, BLACK LABEL, PLAIN WRAP, LOVE CANAL…22 groups in all. Put out by FFF fanzine, and comes with mag insert.

V/A Terminal! Flexidisk No. 2 8″

I’ll skip the one track each by EXPERIMENTAL PRODUCTS (funky weirdness) and TIMI (reggae), and flip to side two, which contains a track each by RAT AT RAT R and LIVE SKULL. The former delivers a brutal blow of semi-noise music, NY art style. LIVE SKULL take that genre a bit further, less noisy but more depressing.

V/A Speed Trials LP

A nifty little live compilation that features the musical side of a five-day art festival held last year in New York. Lotsa homeboys on this one, like LIVE SKULL, SONIC YOUTH, SWANS, and the BEASTIE BOYS. Also includes two tracks from the FALL.

V/A Not Yet Decided cassette

An international compilation cassette put out by Brian Walsby. Such luminaries as C.O.C., NO POLICY, UGLY AMERICANS, SLUGGO, ACCÜSED, UNIFORM CHOICE, VICIOUS CIRCLE, SCARED STRAIGHT, UNACCEPTED, etc. present anywhere from one to seven songs each, and there’s lots of raving thrash.

V/A Mystic Sampler #2 LP

The latest sampler LP from the most prolific sampler label, this one contains tracks from some previous records (GRIM, DR. KNOW, Nardcore, Slimey Valley, Party Animal, SUBTERFUGE, etc.) and some future releases (AGGRESSION, HOLLYWOOD NOISE, Let’s Die, Cop II, Return to Slimey Valley). Can anyone keep track of all this?

V/A Godfodder cassette

Some names on this comp you’ll immediately recognize as quality acts, like HOMO PICNIC, CHRONIC DISORDER, DEAD MILKMEN, DROOLING IDIOTS, CANCEROUS GROWTH, ASBESTOS ROCKPYLE, etc. And many others are relative newies, such as STATE OF THE UNION, PUBLIC ENEMA, etc. Lots of variety of punk sounds, and lots of intelligent lyrics.

V/A Dial-a-Trance cassette

A Chicago-area comp, this features CERTAIN DEATH, GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS, TORPEDOS, SPRAY PAINT, UNINVITED, RING 13, NO MORE WARS, BLATANT DISSENT, and GARAGE BODIES. Quite good sound quality, and varied but strong material. Good.

V/A Covers LP

Neat idea, not-so-neat results. Cover songs are a tricky business—you either gotta change and update ’em (like the MEMBRANES’ “Super Freak”), or out-energize the original (SWA’s “100 Bottles of Beer”). But most of the others, turned in by the likes of SCARED STRAIGHT, RKL, FALSE CONFESSIONS, ILL REPUTE, SADO-NATION, DON’T NO, NOFX, VOA, PLAINWRAP, G.I., etc, etc., don’t make you forget the originals. They should.

V/A Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Vol. 15 LP

Somehow omitting Vol. 14, this series of ’60s obscurities lurches on to Wisconsin, Part 2. While mainly on the softer, poppier folk-rock side, many of these tunes are pretty cool, with lots of vocal harmonies and an occasional freakout. Decent.

V/A Vote No in ’85 cassette

Two to five songs each by ten intense hardcore bands. ACTIVE INGREDIENTS, UNEXPECTED, PSYCHO, RED BERET, U.S. DISTRESS, URBICIDE, WHITE PIGS, KNOCKABOUTS, HOMO PICNIC, and DEFORMED (the only non-US band, being from the UK). Excellent.

V/A Stars Vomit Coffee Shop

All the tracks here contain one Frank Kogan, whether singing with his guitar, or in accompaniment by bands (that include former Cleveland weirdos associated with X BLANK X and PRESSLER/MORGAN). Results: singer/songwriter goes VELVETS meets JAMES BROWN in the garage singing those “Subterranean Homesick Blues.”

V/A Godfodder cassette

Many well-knowns and lesser-knowns of various punk styles are combined for stimulating listening. CHRONIC DISORDER, HOMO PICNIC, ASBESTOS ROCKPYLE, DEAD MILKMEN, DROOLING IDIOTS, and tons more appear on this one. Worth checking out.

V/A Garage Sale cassette

The cassette equivalent of Voxx’s Battle of the Garages, this collection put together by Goldmine magazine lures such contemporary garage groups as the VIPERS, GRAVEDIGGERS V, TELL-TALE HEARTS, PANDORAS, FUZZTONES, CHEEPSKATES, UNCLAIMED, and more. Can’t really go wrong there. Gnarly.

V/A Can It Be? cassette

Put out by Metrozine, this compilation contains mostly DC area bands like MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, JET BOYS, GRAY MATTER, GREY MARCH, ASYLUM, B.M.O., UNITED MUTATION, G.I., REPTILE HOUSE, VELVET MONKEYS, NIKE CHIX, PUDWAK, and one one-of-a-kind group, CERTAIN DEATH of Illinois. A tunefully varied musical earful. Solid effort.

V/A Aha 3 cassette

Opening this cassette package is like Christmas! I got a Q-Tip, two slides, a plastic fruit-fly, one cellophane “mystery fish,” a bunch of neat booklets… I, for one, am excited. There’s also a cassette, which features some OK “sensitive” pop by TERRIBLE PARADE, and a lot of arty compositions, mostly in a very, very slow mode. Great packaging, but the music’s not too enthralling.

V/A We Don’t Want Your Fucking Law! LP

The second volume in Fight Back’s We Don’t Want…, and like the first, the ensemble of bands is a good earful. Featuring new and released tracks by 16 UK and German bands, the music is much softer than the first, yet still potent and powerful. The line-up includes the APOSTLES, INSANE, PARTISANS, RUBELLA BALLET, VORKRIEGSJUGEND, UPRIGHT CITIZENS, WARDANCE, POSITIVE IMPACT, and more. A good sampler and a nice effort.

V/A Transmission Sampler 01 EP

This over-the-edge zine presents one side of garage weirdness (ERIC HYSTERIC, SNOIDS, and BROKEN LIMBZ); and a more accessible side (SAVAGE REPUBLIC and RUGGEDY ANNES). Varied and interesting, it’s worth it for RUGGEDY ANNES’ pop/punk track alone.

V/A Putrid Evil flexi EP

Aha, the first of hopefully many exciting flexis containing some of the up-and-coming bands around the world. Dig and Kalv have initiated this project with CIVIL DISSIDENT from Australia, SEPTIC DEATH from the US (both hot!), and several tracks by the STUPIDS from England, who bring GANG GREEN-type attack to the Isles. Snap it up!

V/A Deflagration, Vol. II

An international thrasher with VORKRIEGSPHASE, SP CAOS, HEIMLAT LOS. EU’S ARSE, SIEGE, WRETCHED, RAZOR BLADES, STRESS DA, and much more; 15 bands, 48 tracks. Good sound quality overall, and intense material.

V/A Dark Sampler #3

Nine bands and 29 tracks, including some hot bands like MURDER INC. III, INDIREKT, GEPØPEL, M.O.G., the FILTH. Most of it is live, though, and not the best way to hear these Dutch groups.

V/A Διατάραξη Κοινής Ησυχίας LP

An excellent compilation, featuring six Greek punk bands in a variety of sub-styles. Not only are the bands more that competent, but the recording quality is surprisingly good, too. Besides EX-HUMANS, PANX ROMANA, and STRESS, there’s no other information in English as to who the other bands might be. As you might guess, it’s all Greek to me.

V/A Asleep at the Wheel

I think it was a prerequisite for all twelve bands on this Melbourne comp to have two words in their titles, like CORPSE GRINDERS, CRUSHED BUZZARDS, TOMBSTONE HANDS, HAREM SCAREM, etc. It’s a mixed bag of neo-’60s, neo-blues, neo new wave, neo-billy, etc., etc., etc. My fave though is a catchy pop/punk song, “Mohawk Baby” by PAINTERS & DOCKERS.

V/A Alle 55 Kort cassette

These 55 bands (one track each) all hail from the Low Countries: Belgium and Holland. And needless to say, this compilation brings home with force just how widespread hardcore has spread in this region. Both live and studio tracks, mostly well-produced, and comes with a zine.

V/A Stockholm’s Mangel

Three powerful young Swedish thrashers share this tape. While I’ve heard MOB 47 sound more powerful than this before, they are still a plus here. And so are CRUDITY (more fast thrash) and AGONI, who are along the lines of DISORDER.

V/A The Last Supper cassette

We’ve got the mandatory SPK and TEST DEPT, who are featured on every one of these tapes. Clever packaging, however, belies the Sominex inside; poor quality sound, too. Well, three strikes and you’re out, but that’s only two. OK, then there’s this band called MUSLIMGAUZE easily qualifies with their incredible suckiness.

V/A We Don’t Want Your Fucking War! LP

I hear this is the first of many politically oriented “unity” HC compilations to come out of Mortarhate. (I think it’s Mortarhate; it’s hard to tell from the disc and cover.) It’s an admirable sentiment, unifying activist punks with other movements, but it’s not the sentiment alone that’s good here. The tracks shred. Excellent, it includes BROKEN BONES, POTENTIAL THREAT, INSTIGATORS, VARUKERS, LOST CHERREES, MALINHEADS, DEZERTER, and lost more, many previously unreleased.

V/A Really Fast Vol. II LP

Incredibly powerful Swedish compilation that features 37 songs by 14 bands. Hard-hitting with lots of thrash rhythms, you’ll experience variations of hardcore from fast, turbulent explosions to raw, gut-crunching scorchers. Furious fun from INGRON HUTLOS, MOB 47, NYX NEGATIV, ASOCIAL IRTS, SOTLIMPA, KRIXHJALTERS, DISTRUST, and more. This is one to check out. Really good.

V/A Hold Up Omnibus 8″ EP

Some very poor recording mars what were probably some very exciting live moments for the four bands that appear on here; SYSTEMATIC DEATH, GHOUL, GASTUNK, and the CLAY turn in several tracks each, but…too bad.

V/A Fun’s Not Dead LP

Action packed chaos grooved into spasmic colored vinyl. Quick charges of lightning-paced thrash with jubilant tempos and grinding assaults featuring eight German bands doing fourteen sonic bursters. INFERNO, ROTTING CARCASS, CERESIT 81, BOLKOTTZ, WOT, MANIACS, and more deliver some crucial sounds that exhilarate to the fullest.

V/A 4 Per Ⓐ//ⒶⒶ Per Tutti EP

Like most compilations, a little spotty. RAW POWER starts off and blows away all the competition. Their sound here is sooooo much better than their first LP, as they showcase their breakneck stop-and-start sound with vocals literally spit out through your speakers. RAPPRESAGLIA and PEDAGO PARTY both go for a more popular thrash sound. The other band, RIVOLTA DELL’ODIO, has a slower art-damaged sound.

V/A Eat Your Head 2xLP

The Melbourne, Australia equivalent to Bullshit Detector, where you get good recordings by eleven of Australia’s hottest hardcore performers. The prizes include double tracks by CIVIL DISSIDENT, who undoubtedly are one of the three best Australian bands, and intense stuff by I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVY, who thrash it with humor. Plus excellent tracks by END RESULT, VICIOUS CIRCLE, BODIES, MURDER MURDER SUICIDE, and more. A very quality effort, you can see the heart behind this!

V/A Compilation EP

It’s that punk/Oi (skunk) sound that’s so popular in France. Here we have a muddily recorded indie release with four bands, two of which produce mediocre examples of the genre (DISTURB and TOXIK), one a good example (OFFENSIVE), and the other an excellent example (KIDNAP). The song by the latter is “1984,” the song Jeff wanted to put on our Welcome to 1984 LP.

V/A Cleanse the Bacteria LP

Pus and I often have minor musical differences, so I was hoping for the opportunity to take a friendly swipe at the old headbanger’s international thrash-oriented compilation. But I’m having a hard time because it’s a fucking good record. Some of the groups here are among my favorites (like 7 SECONDS and MOB 47) and the selections are usually up the best of each band’s standard, so I’ll just have to bite my tongue and get into these vicious slabs of cranium-crunching mayhem, etc. Kudos to GENOCIDE EXPRESS, SIEGE, and even HOLY DOLLS.

V/A We Begin Bombing in Five Minutes cassette

A good value, this cassette features a clutch of Cleveland bands (CIVILIAN TERRORISTS, LURID, JIPPO, PESTILANCE, and PLAGUE) and just under 30 songs. The sound quality’s good, the music even better—and this tape (as well as future ones in this series) comes with a fanzine, stickers, etc. if you send $1.35 to No Fun.

V/A Phantom Takes cassette

This is a really quick overview of the SoCal industrial/difficult music scene. You get just about everything on this tape, including psychos like JOHN TRUBEE, DEBT OF NATURE, and BRENT WILCOX to CABARET VOLTAIRE/CHROME-sound artists like PIERRE LAMBOW and RANDALL KENNEDY. Comes in a real classy cardboard package with booklet.

V/A Billboard Vandals cassette

Four bands share this first release by Depression zine. LATIN DOGS (political thrash) and TOXIC ATTITUDE (garage thrash) are both recorded live at a “lawn party.” THE LIPS ARE BACK (older punk) and EDDIE & THE WOLFGANG (garage) round out the release. LATIN DOGS are definitely the best of the lot.

V/A This is White Noise EP

With lines like, “It don’t matter how we win, even murder is no sin” and “Nigger nigger, go back home,” the National Front promotes their nationalist and racist ideology through 4 bands they’ve signed to their label : SKREWDRIVER, DIEHARDS, BRUTAL ATTACK, and ABH. Sad, and dangerous…

V/A Spanish HC cassette

Six bands share this compendium of Spanish hardcore, including the likes of ULTIMO RESORTE, SHIT S.A., and MG-15. R.I.P., however, shame their competition with 13 ripping live songs in a well-orchestrated thrash style; their tracks alone make this compilation especially attractive. Give it a listen!

V/A Propaganda Live LP

A live release of ten Finnish hardcore groups with a major emphasis on the BASTARDS and POIKKEUSTILA. Good sound quality gives this the right edge, as it is gritting and raw, yet uncompromising in energy. Interesting listening from Rock-O-Rama.

V/A P.E.A.C.E. 2xLP

A compilation of Finnish hardcore on Germany’s Rock-O-Rama label. The music is generally strong (though some is overly generic), but there is a problem raised by this album—the appearance of so many tracks that have already been released on earlier Finnish (or even German) records. Although it’s great to witness the “internationalization” of the punk scene on vinyl, I wish that the organizers of these projects would try harder to get only unreleased cuts or songs on records that are out-of-print or otherwise impossible to get ahold of. Here, the ratio of easily-available material is close to 50%, and that’s too much.

V/A Finnish Spunk / Hard Beat LP

A compilation of Finnish hardcore on Germany’s Rock-O-Rama label. The music is generally strong (though some is overly generic), but there is a problem raised by this album—the appearance of so many tracks that have already been released on earlier Finnish (or even German) records. Although it’s great to witness the “internationalization” of the punk scene on vinyl, I wish that the organizers of these projects would try harder to get only unreleased cuts or songs on records that are out-of-print or otherwise impossible to get ahold of. Here, the ratio of easily-available material is close to 50%, and that’s too much.

V/A Keine Experimente! Vol. II LP

An excellent follow-up, this compilation features some of the hot current crop of young German hardcore bands, with some great tracks by TORPEDO MOSKAU, AGEN 53, PORNO PATROL, EA 80, CHOAS Z, NEUROTIC ARSEHOLES, TIN CAN ARMY, CRETINS, and VOLXFRONT. A fine recording, on colored vinyl.

V/A The Third Chainsaw Flexi EP

Although the previously released tracks by MORNINGTON CRESCENT and BGK make for a shred-fest in themselves, the two songs by BUTCHER are also worthwhile. Their cover of T. REX’s “Get It On” is a delightful pop-punk version, but “Psycho Trend” seems a tad more lively. Available with Chainsaw zine.

V/A Basic Sampler cassette

CCM and I REFUSE IT from Italy; FARTZ and SOLGER (R.I.P.) and REJECTERS from the Northwest; MEAT PUPPETS, PART-TIME CHRISTIANS, and MAGGOT BRAINS from all around. Lots of live tracks and decent sound quality, but what’s most unusual about this release is…no accompanying booklet with lyrics, addresses, etc., a rarity these days.

V/A Abt Nr 409 / Copvlation / Xerxes Von Munshrein LP

This trio of Swiss experimental bands channels their ideas through traditional rock song-structures. COPVLATION are the punkiest here, adopting an early CABARET VOLTAIRE sound, albeit with more power in the drums; XERXES VON MUNSHREIN have definite potential, though this band is decidedly more synth-oriented. No truly great songs here, but let’s hear more from the country that used to be the creative center of first-rate post-punk.

V/A Twisted Youth cassette

This comp represents past and present bands from the North Bay of the SF area. Side one, the “well-recorded side,” is somewhat within that definition, and contains some cool tracks by LUDAVICHO TECHNIQUE, CRYPT, UXB, PUKES, and SACRIPOLITICAL. The “not-so-well-recorded side” is “live” mateial, with a track each by 13 bands. Kent likes all this “warped stuff.”

V/A Their Eyes Don’t Lie EP

Produced by Student Action Corp for Animals, this 7”er comes with a fold-out sleeve that contains all sorts of animal justice information and addresses. The disc itself contains a spoken word track, one musical track by D.C.’s SUBTLE OPPRESSION, and two songs by the Bay Area’s late ATROCITY. Those two tunes, highlighted by twin female vocals and atmospheric but driving punk instrumentation, are the musical treats here, and, unfortunately, are the only released testimony to that great band.

V/A Painful Haircut cassette

A nice little collection of young US bands featuring MINISTRY OF TRUTH, F, FALSE LIBERTY, ANGRY RED PLANET, CHRONIC DISORDER, NO MORE WARS, STUKAS OVER BEDROCK, E-13, HOMO PICNIC, ART THIEVES, MUSICAL SUICIDE, FUTILE EFFORT, BABY ASTRONAUTS, JUVENILE TRUTH, and MDC. Quality isn’t bad. It sounds like a lot of basement demos, but the effort is well thought out and delivered. A good compilation.

V/A Numb Tongue, No Taste cassette

An international compilation of the known and a few newcomers—BORN WITHOUT A FACE, ARHIVISKA ZABAVA, DICTATRISTA, BRAVE NEW WORLD, UNIFORM CHOICE, CRASH BOX, ASBESTOS ROCKPYLE are among the former, while GLORIOUS DIN, BABY ASTRONAUTS (hilarious), ST-37, FAITH NO MORE, DOC WOR MIRRAN, and ARCATA BOYS CHOIR head up the latter. Enjoyable listening.

V/A Let’s Breed! LP

This buoyant sampler of Boston-area bands concentrates on accessible, up-tempo power-pop and punk—and manages it with surprising consistency. The FLIES, EDGE, and UNDERACHIEVERS vie for top honors, but the odds-on favorite is a slice of country swing (!) by SCRUFFY THE CAT. No thrash here; just agreeable, aggressive hard pop and punk—the kind you listened to and liked way back in ’79.

V/A Brain of Stone cassette

23 bands from all over the world contribute to this compilation, though a sound problem on the first side (is it just my copy?) works against some of them. First-rate efforts by the ACCUSED, NOT MOVING (from Italy), YOUTH KORPS, VICIOUS CIRCLE (from Australia), and Denmark’s DISRESPECT make for some rousing moments; el Demento award goes to HAPPY FLOWERS for “Mom I Gave the Cat Some Acid.”

V/A Battle of the Garages, Vol. 3: The Paisley Underground LP

This latest Greg Shaw reliving-his-teens comp contains all contemporary SoCal neo-’60s bands. The accent is on punk here, with just a dash of folk-rock, psych, and Mersey. And a good one it is—solid rockin’ from beginning to end by all 16 bands (most previously unreleased). Recommended.

V/A Yalta Hi-Life LP

Aaa-haaa! here it is! A Finnish compilation with the best TERVEET KÄDET song yet, smokes while the stylus shoots out sparks. Great collection with KAAOS, VARAUS, APARAT, AIVOPROTESTI, KANSANTURVAMUSIIKKIKOMISSIO (say that three times…slow!). Don’t miss this!

V/A Not So Humdrum LP

The second Sydney compilation from that hard-working Bruce Griffiths (Trousers in Action zine), and it’s full of good material. While there is only one semi-thrasher (VIGIL-ANTI), there’s lots of garagy stuff (ROCKS, WRONG KIND OF STONE AGE) and other classic punk styles performed by SUICIDE SQUAD, EXSERTS, HAPPY HATE ME NOTS. But the most zapping tracks belong to ITCHY RATS, who’ll really grow on you. Super book-type cover, too.

V/A Izgubljena Alternativa cassette

This is a surprisingly strong representation of several Yugoslavian hardcore bands. While it’s hard to tell who’s who, nearly all of the material (tape EPs) by U.B.R., NECROPHILIA, SOLUNSKI FRONT, QUOD MASAKA, DVA MINUTA MRZNJE, and DISTRESS is a cut above the norm. There’s some real originality and flair here, along with lots of power. Excellent.

V/A Holland Hardcore 3 cassette

This is pretty much of a rave. All the bands thrash out wildly, with most of the bands turning in those noisy live tracks that remind me of S.U.M. In this category goes PUINHOOP, LAITZ, M.O.G., CHLORIX, ECHTE BOTER, G.V.D., ORGASM, and A. RELAXT. Top honors on this regional Dutch comp go to GEPØPEL, who present two studio tracks that remind me of 7 SECONDS more than a little. Keep it up, all of you!

V/A Déflagration Vol. 1 cassette

This all-thrash comp is yet another international effort, and despite some relative unknowns here, it’s pretty consistently powerful. There’s EXTERMINO (Brazil), RÖVSVETT and MOB 47 (Sweden), BLANK SS (Heimat), and HERESIE (France), SAUKERLE (E. Germany), ONSLAUGHT (UK), THELLAY (Japan), END RESULT (Australia), SCAPEGOATS (W. Germany), and MELLAKKA (Finland). The compiler will take money ($2.60), but prefers a C-60 tape of bands from your country in trade.

V/A We Got Power: Party or Go Home LP

This Party Animal follow-up is not quite as overpowering as the initial installment, but it’s still an excellent sampler. You get 41 bands from all over the US, with SoCal being predominant. Too many bands to even begin to list (see ad this issue), but there are lots of debuts here, as well as other recently recorded up-and-comers. And, there are grooves between the songs this time!

V/A Objekt No. 2 cassette

An eclectic conglomerate of obtuse sound and vision, some of it extraordinary, some self-indulgent grunt, but that’s the case with all compilations in this genre. It’s refreshing to see Americans pumping out intensity of this nature. This is quite similar in approach and content to the Rising from the Red Sand series from England, although the sound here is much better. Highly recommended.

V/A Shoot ‘Em All cassette

Outside of some weak Britpunk material from BLABOIZ, we’re presented with some excellent tracks (studio and live) from the VANDALS (not the US band), INTENSIFIED CHAOS (again, not the US combo), and SABOTEUR. Vigorous stuff!

V/A Have a Rotten Christmas LP

The up-and-coming Rot Records label presents largely unreleased tracks for your holiday “enjoyment.” Good, strong material from ANIMAL FARM, VARUKERS, NO CHOICE, SKEPTIX, RESISTANCE 77, ENEMY, PARANOIA, and RIOT SQUAD. What, no BOBBY HELMS?

V/A Four on 4 EP

One cut each by four excellent rock ’n’ roll (in the good, teen rave-up sense) combos. The MILKSHAKES, PRISONERS, STING-RAYS, and TALLBOYS all turn in crisp, up-tempo rockers with varying influences (R’n’B, psych, mod). So don’t be no “skwayer,” and pick it up.

V/A Music to Kill Brain Cells, Vol. 1 cassette

Band #1 is BROKEN TALENT, who, after the pornographic intro (Mykel Board, get this one!), indulge us with some classic garage punk. #2 is VERBAL CIRCUS, and they deliver some really weird shit (again M.B., take note). POP CRUDS bring us back to reality (ha!) with more garage retardedness. And that leaves it all up to FONZIE’S NEPHEWS, who polish us off in a demented fit of idiocy. “Weird shit,” as the liner notes say.

V/A Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Vol. 13 LP

Supposedly a return to the “punk” side of Texas ’60s music, it’s not quite the wailer I had hoped for. While there’s some killer stuff by the BRIKS, FANATICS, and BARONS (MOUSE AND THE TRAPS rip-off), there’s also an awful lot of filler here. Hope that’s it for the Texas series.

V/A Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Vol. 12 LP

Part two of the Texas retrospective in this on-going series has dug up a mixed bag. Side one is the “ acid-punk” side, and it’s a 50/50 proposition: highlights are by the REMAINING FEW and STEREO SHOESTRING, the rest being too far gone on the lighter weight psych side. Side two is the “pop” side, and it’s less than a 50/50 deal.

V/A Desperate Teenage Lovedolls LP

The soundtrack to We Got Power‘s video extravaganza, there’s lots of great rock ’n’ roll. REDD KROSS appropriately dominates this disc, not only with their own tunes, but with members sitting in with WHITE FLAG as well. They are joined by BLACK FLAG, SIN 34 (WGP‘s “house band”), NIP DRIVERS, and DARKSIDE (?). Cool teen stuff!

V/A Back From the Grave, Vol. 4 LP

More primitive ’60s punk from pimply faced pubescents who couldn’t attract a “gurl” if their lives depended on it. And it’s a damn good thing, too, or they wouldn’t have been mad enough to produce these raunchy misogynistic rants. Almost everything here is primo stuff, maaaan, but I especially dig the CYCLONES, RED BEARD & THE PIRATES, the HALLMARKS, and the AZTEX. Can’t wait for future volumes.

V/A Attack of the Jersey Teens LP

No headbangin’ ’60s punk here, with most of this anthology concentrating on the Mersey/folk rock side of things (WHAT-NOTS, FRIEDLES, YOUNG MONKEY MEN)—but CALLIOPE and LOVED ONES do turn in an excellent rocker each. I suspect most of these bands hailed from South Jersey, hung out at “the Shore,” and would love to be BRUCE STINKBEAN.

V/A Rullustiginn cassette

When I think of modern Icelandic music, I think of moody post-punk and some experimental stuff. That’s exactly what we get on this tape. Only one or two groups (VONBRIGDI, for example) really play driving punk.

V/A Primitive Air-Raid LP

An excellent cross-section of Montreal-area bands, most of which haven’t released any vinyl before. From the thrash of DIRECT ACTION and NO POLICY to the chunky pop-punk of the NILS to AMERICAN DEVICES’ weird, rockin’ stuff to fast punk by GENETIC CONTROL, the ABSURDS, and FAIR WARNING to the garage punk of PORCELAIN FOREHEAD to MORBID FIRE’s experimental garage thrash, this album provides listening enjoyment. The only musical letdowns are art- damaged numbers by ≠ and IAGO NEON. The ASEXUALS, on the other hand, provide the lyrical low-point with their imbecilic pro-contra chant; their line “political morons without a fucking clue” must be autobiographical, since they apparently know nothing about Nicaragua, American foreign policy, or the circle-A which they employ in their moniker.

V/A Noget På Dansk EP

A split EP, on white vinyl no less. ENOLA GAY and WAR OF DESTRUCTION share this effort. E.G. are good, gruff fast punk (two songs), while W.O.D. are DISCHARGE-like on their one entry. The flip features LE CRAP, who are abrasive post-punk. The real surprise, though, is VI, who shred on their two tracks, sort of GISM meets CAPITOL PUNISHMENT. Good release.

V/A La Notte Dell’Anarchia cassette

An historical document of sorts, this live tape is dedicated to those courageous and dedicated punks of Milan, who managed the Virus collective (now defunct by force). Besides the many bands (ALTERNATIVA, KOBRA, F.D.M., WRETCHED, STRAGE, M.A.F., RAPPRESAGLIA), there are interviews with various people (in Italian), speaking about an action of occupation they did (where this was recorded) to protest, where eventually they were dislodged by ten tanks! Raw as reality, but the fight goes on.

V/A Hauptkampflinie cassette

An international collection starring PLAIN WRAP, SVART FRAMTID, PANDEMONIUM, MOB 47, WRETCHED, TIN CAN ARMY, SIEGE, CRASH BOX, INFERNO, and several newcomers. It’s a solid thrash release—you know what you’re getting.

V/A Hardcore Unlawful Assembly LP

Another savage onslaught of that brutal Japanese hardcore. Featuring those masters of growling ferocity, GISM, with two power-crazed cuts. OUTO speeds rapidly with harsh vocals. BAWS come off as an aggressive COCKNEY REJECTS, with lots of chants and Oi stylings. ZOUO plunge into some metallic pieces like a young GISM, with lots of effects. LAUGHIN’ NOSE strikes with a melodic punk appeal, like current YOUTH BRIGADE numbers. MOBS is GISM Jr.—grinding, growling, with all that iron grit edge. COBRA hits with some early garagy punk sounds. And LIP CREAM charges forth with some manic thrash assaults, fast and furious. A great compilation where most songs are longer than what’s in “fashion.” Thanks, Hannah!

V/A Goot From the Boot LP

Here we have a new Italian compilation distinguished by its diversity and general quality. The “green side” features a few experimental punk bands (GREY SHADOW, NOISENOISENOISE, and MIND) that illuminate some paths that can be taken out of the generic morass “hardcore” often finds itself in; they adopt unusual structures without losing bite and guitar power (except maybe MIND). The “orange side” features somewhat more conventional punk and thrash groups (CANI, JUGGERNAUT, and PUTRID FEVER), and one rhythmic synth duo (FUNNY FASHION).

V/A Two Ninety Nine LP

A whole lot of current UK bands (eleven to be exact), each with a track or so, and bizarrely, one US band (KILLROY). We get some mid-tempo tracks from ANIMAL FARM, SICK VICARS, ENEMY, RESISTANCE 77, THOSE OBNOXIOUS TYPES, and PARANOIA. Not earth-shaking, but solid Brit-punk.

V/A Bullshit Detector Three 2xLP

41 underground acts delivering the message of peace and their anger about the corrosion of society. A variety of musical styles, ranging from readings and folk to punk. Loud and aggressive, it carries it all and holds strong. The poster cover features an informative segment on each artist’s lyrics and beliefs. As the cover states, “Don’t expect music when the melody is anger, when the message sings defiance.” With a haunting illo by Naomi!

V/A Beating the Meat LP

Welcome to the X-Centric Noise Cassettes’ “greatest hits” LP—all their best stuff grooved into a fiery wax platter. Many of your favorites first appeared thru X-Centric, and now you can experience the storming energy of TERVEET KÄDET, UPRIGHT CITIZENS, NEOS, HUVUDTVÄTT, OLHO SECO, PROTEST, RATTUS, POWERAGE, CÓLERA, CULT MANIAX, and more. For fanatic and neophyte alike. Support Shesk’s efforts (he’s helped popularize international music for years) and help keep that energy flowing.

V/A Revenge of the Killer Pussies LP

The follow-up to Blood on the Cats, this comp again features trash/garage/rockabilly/R’n’R. There are a few well-known bands (METEORS, SIC KIDZ, MILKSHAKES), a few up-and-comers (KING KURT, STINGRAYS, TURKEY BONES AND WILD DOGS), and absolutely no manic psychobilly. Just OK.

V/A Texacore 1 cassette

A real gnarly, kick-ass compilation consisting of such luminaries as PUNK FLAMINGOS, PRENATAL LUST, BILLY BOB FAGGOTS, FEARLESS IRANIANS FROM HELL, TOEJAM, and three others. It has good sound quality, too. More than decent.

V/A A Midnight Christmas Mess LP

Other than a few too-pop or rockabilly clunkers on side one, we are left with an excellent ’60s-punk-type compilation of various contemporary groups. There’s killer stuff from YARD TRAUMA, NADROJ & THE WOLRATS (doing the SONICS’ “She’s Waiting” with new lyrics), CHEEPSKATES, among others. There’s even Midnight owner, JD, doing his tribute, à la Phil Spector’s Xmas LP, to the season.

V/A 4 Old 7″s on a 12″ LP

So you’ve been crawling up the walls trying to get these classic 7” EP’s, paying five times the original price for a copy, and now here it is for you all to experience. These are the roots of the original DC sound, with the TEEN IDLES (with Jeff and Ian of MINOR THREAT), S.O.A. (with Henry of BLACK FLAG), GOVERNMENT ISSUE, and YOUTH BRIGADE (not the LA variety ; this one had Bert of DOUBLE O/SECOND WIND) in their debut EP’s. Still classics, and should be part of your collection!

V/A Buddha Was Fat cassette

Eight songs (five bands) from upper NY State. The WRONG CROWD are like late-period VELVET UNDERGROUND, the PLAGUE are garage, RELIGIOUS INSANITY are mercifully short-song oriented, SUICIDE POETS are mysterious, and THRASH HAPPY are the furthest thing from thrash imaginable.

V/A Big City Don’t Want No Pity EP

This third Big City compilation EP features solid, aggressive material by ULTRAVIOLENCE, ARMED CITIZENS, UNJUST, and in particular, NO CONTROL, who delivers a gripping mid-tempo blast reminiscent of the AVENGERS live. Some rowdy, biting material here (although some has been previously released, and all are slightly dated)—so give it a listen!

V/A Scum of the Earth LP

Yet another ’60s punk compilation, this one primarily dealing with the pre-psych influence on the genre. What this means is a lot of ’64 or so sounding stuff, with an accent on surf, R&B, and British Invasion garage sounds. Not as wild as I’d hoped.

V/A Pebbles, Vol. 14 LP

No “theme” or “geographic” orientation here—just a smattering of more obscurities from the seemingly endless ’60s archives. No real losers here, and the highlight for me was the GOLDEN CUPS cover of “Hey Joe.” Just what we need, right? But this has gotta be the ’60s equivalent of a thrash version!

V/A Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Vol. 11 LP

Awright, baby, this is part one of the Texas entry into the Highs series, and I think it’s the standout so far. It’s even better than the much rarer and highly-touted Flashbacks volumes. LARRY & THE BLUE NOTES do an incredible blast, as do the BUCCANEERS, KIT & THE OUTLAWS, the BY-FIVES, and NOBODY’S CHILDREN. (Note; CHAZ & THE CLASSICS’ amazing psychedelic punker is the third song on side two). Total gold.

V/A Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Vol. 10 LP

Volume 10 of the Highs series covers Wisconsin. There’s too many bluesy rhythms, pumping saxes, and DYLAN rip-offs for my tastes, but heavy fuzz guitars from the likes of the SHAG and the WANDERER’S REST, and unbelievable rave-up at the end of the MOSSMEN’s cut, and some sharp British Invasion-style singing by JACK & THE BEANSTALKS are definitely worth hearing.

V/A Nardcore LP

Yet another Mystic compilation album! And again, it’s a hotly produced disc featuring material that ranges from the inspiring (RKL) to the uninspired, though most is good. This one features relative oldsters like ILL REPUTE, AGGRESSION, DR. KNOW, and STALAG 13, as well as newcomers such as SCARED STRAIGHT, RAT PACK, HABEAS CORPUS, FALSE CONFESSIONS, and AFU. There’s somewhat more punk (vis-à-vis thrash and speed metal) on Nardcore, but the most noteworthy developments are the apparent strength of the “straight edge” philosophy in the Oxnard area and the reappearance of the sublimely inane ROTTERS. Good show, Doug!

V/A Boulders, Vols. 9 & 10 LPs

The two latest volumes of this ’60s punk series contain largely good stuff and little wimp-rock. While the sound quality isn’t as good as some series, the material is still of the impossible-to-find type, making them indispensable for collectors. Volume 10 contains a purported Jerry Mathers (the Beaver) punk release—bizarre.

V/A Rising From the Ashes cassette

A four-band comp of current NZ bands, one (FIVE YEAR MISSION) that goes as far back as ’79. K-4 are pretty experimental, à la PREFIX, CORRECTIVE TRAINING are fairly standard ’78 punk, REX THE FISH have a female vocalist and a moody post-punk sound, and the aforementioned FYM, who are the speediest, but are still within a traditional punk beat.

V/A The Raw Power of Life cassette

Some pretty well-known bands from around Europe are featured here: INFERNO, NEUROTIC ARSEHOLES, NUCLEAR, M.A.F., RAZZIA, and J.R.’s MOTHERFUCKERS AND THE HOLY GHOST from Germany; PANDEMONIUM from Holland; DESTRUCKTIONS and RATTUS from Finland; ANTI-CIMEX from Sweden. There’s some live, some studio—my faves are RATTUS and PANDEMONIUM.

V/A Pebbles, Vol. 15

This one concentrates on the Dutch scene (’65-’68). Just as today there is great punk in Holland (BGK, PANDEMONIUM, etc.), there was a flourishing scene back then, too. We’re given some hot tracks by the OUTSIDERS, MOTIONS, JAY-JAYS, etc., and a few klunkers, but it’s overall a worthwhile addition for collectors.

V/A Larmattacke 2 cassette

An intense thrash tape, with mostly German bands (TODISCHER, M.A.F., SCAPEGOATS, SYPHILIS, LOBOTOMY, SAOBOYS, etc.), some from Holland (FUNERAL ORATION, M.O.G., MURDER INC. III, etc.), England (PANIC STRICKEN), US (DIET OF WORMS, SADISTIC EXPLOITS), and Sweden (CRUDE SS, AVSKUM, MOB 47). Sound quality is basically good.

V/A Kloak Skrål 2 cassette

This compilation is put out by a Swedish alternative studio that supplies free time for recording. This contains hot stuff by E.A.T.E.R., NYX NEGATIVE, BRISTLES, GUNNER ZIDE, AVSKUM, S.S.G., SIX-TEN REDLÖS, and SVEA SKANDAL. Some of it has been already released on vinyl, but it’s still a good representation of today’s powerful Swedish punk/HC.

V/A Get Lost cassette

A very lengthy compilation that alternates between studio demo tracks and barely recognizable live recordings. There are a few better-known bands (SUBHUMANS, DESTRUCTORS, BRISTLES, HATES, etc .), and a lot of younger outfits (DECEASED, ACID ATTACK, NO BRAIN CELLS, DEATH ZONE, and countless others). It’s a decent buy, if you can stand the changes.

V/A Complication: A Danish Compilation LP

This recent Danish compilation is a real letdown. While it does contain some hot tracks (one by WAR OF DESTRUCTION, another by ELECTRIC DEADS—same one as on MRR’s comp), a decent SODS cut, and one passable FRESHLY RIOTS track, the rest is post-punk/new wave drivel that’s unlistenable. Too bad.

V/A Daffodils To The Daffodils Here’s The Daffodils LP

The latest Pax compilation contains mostly unreleased material, and some killer tracks by the likes of the MAU MAUS, DESTRUCKTIONS, ONSLAUGHT, and the post-punkers LEITMOTIV. 20 songs, most of them good to excellent, and yet another thought-provoking editorial by Marcus Featherby on the back cover.

V/A The Oi! of Sex LP

This latest in a long series of so-called Oi compilations features some classic early punk sounds (which now often pass for “Oi”), folk rock, ska, and poetry. It’s all pretty progressive lyrically, accentuating the intelligent side of the perspective of working class youth. Among those featured are COCK SPARRER, the GONADS, NICK TOCZEK, PROLE, CROSSED HAMMERS, the BURIAL, ABH, and VICIOUS RUMOURS. Sounds good.

V/A You Pick One: A Michigan Sampler EP

Five bands and six songs is what you get here. Most of the groups (ANGRY RED PLANET, the ENFORCERS, PRIVATE ANGST) turn in slower, heavier Michigan-style punk, while the GEMS and the FURY pick up the tempo with a bit of thrash. Nothing really stands out, though.

V/A Nobody Gets on the Guest List! LP

With its typical pop themes and music ranging from pop to pop-punk to ’60s punk, this anthology covers another side of the Boston scene. There are a couple of wimpy tracks, but most stand up pretty well if you like powerful guitar pop at all. My faves are by JOHNNY & THE JUMPER CABLES, CHAIN LINK FENCE, HOLY COW, the UNDERACHIEVERS, HOPELESSLY OBSCURE, CHRISTMAS, and 21-645.

V/A The Middle of America Compilation LP

This regional compilation put out by WNUR radio’s Fast ’n’ Loud crew showcases most of the more active, hardworking Chicago-area bands, including NAKED RAYGUN, SAVAGE BELIEFS, NADSAT REBEL, OUT OF ORDER, A.O.F., R.O.T.A., BIG BLACK, and the EFFIGIES. All varieties of punk are represented, and the recording is generally powerful, making this a welcome addition to anyone’s record collection. NAKED RAYGUN particularly excels, but I like almost every band here.

V/A Flipside Vinyl Fanzine, Vol. 1 LP

There’s some first-rate American hardcore on this compilation, easily enough to compensate for an occasional so-so track. The FREEZE, BLACK MARKET BABY, KRAUT, GOVERNMENT ISSUE, and F.O.D. come across with some intense tracks, though my favorite may be the great live version of the DICKIES’ “Gigantor” that opens the album. I hope Volume Two of the series is as good.

V/A Bouncing Babies LP

This is a diverse DC-area compilation featuring bands from the ’81-’83 era, some of which are still around. You’ll get tracks from BLACK MARKET BABY, REPTILE HOUSE, 9353, LAST MINUTE, BRAILLE PARTY, VOID, G.I., DOVE, the CRIPPLED PILGRIMS, SCREAM, UNDERGROUND SOLDIER, and other lesser-knowns. My faves, other than SCREAM, are the mouldy oldies turned in by BEAVER, ASSAULT & BATTERY, and ARTIFICIAL PEACE.

V/A Blazing Wheels and Barking Trucks: Skate Rock, Vol. 2 LP

Cowabunga! Volume numero two of Skate Rock slashes the vinyl terrain with some surfy-punky-metally-rocky sounds. None of this is thrash—it’s straightforward noise by JFA, the FACTION, Mcrad, TSOL, ANVIL CHORUS, the KINGPINS, BORSCHT, the BIG BOYS, and more. Fun, enjoyable stuff enhanced by good recording, but keep it for after the skate session. Good job, Mo!

V/A World Class Punk cassette

Mykel Board compiled this for ROIR, and the outcome is by far the best and broadest international compilation yet. Not only does it have a wide variety of styles, it also has a wider variety of countries represented (27 in all), including the Eastern Bloc, South Africa, and South America, but excluding the US and UK. There are excellent hardcore and garage bands on side one, and on side two are some really great pop-punk and post-punk groups. A new wave band from Columbia is hard to get through, but I can’t think of any other bands here that I don’t like. Check this out.

V/A No Aarhus—Live ’83 cassette

A variety of modern bands and styles can be heard here. Denmark is amply represented by CRAP (post-punk), the RAZOR BLADES (thrash), the DEFORMED (punk), ENOLA GAY (thrash), WAR OF DESTRUCTION (thrash), and DIE KAPELLE (noisy post-punk); Finland showcases the thrash of the BASTARDS and RATTUS; Germany contributes GORILLA ACTIV (post-punk) and DER MODERNE MAN (jazz-punk); then there’s England’s DESTRUCTORS V with some punk. The sound is OK for a live effort.

V/A AJZ Live Thrash cassette

A shitload of German bands (HAWAII 5-O, ENOLA GAY, SICK PLEASURE, INFERNO, the NEUROTIC ARSEHOLES, PORNO PATROL, the UPRIGHT CITIZENS, BLUTTAT, and others), along with Italy’s WRETCHED, recorded at the AJZ. The sound isn’t great, which is too bad, because most of these groups are. The project itself is of an admirable non-profit nature.

V/A Raptus: Negazione & Superamento LP

The second Raptus compilation is superior to the first edition. The production is better, and it contains material by REIG, the WRONG BOYS, STIGMATHE, the CRAPPING DOGS, RAW POWER, the ACID COCKS, and CANI. Once again, RAW POWER dominates the record—check out their awesome “Army”—but REIG and CANI can also burn, and the CRAPPING DOGS have a couple of sing-along Oi-type chants. Blue vinyl.

V/A Mutti’s Muntere Melodei LP

A new German compilation out independently by the former singer in SICK PLEASURE (now in PORNO PATROL), and it’s one of the BRD’s best so far. It shifts from high-powered thrash (the REST and PORNO PATROL) to good standard punk (TOXOPLASMA and T.B.C.) and back again. The big surprises here are the increased speed of BETON COMBO (though they still write catchy numbers), and the REST’s blistering roars. Look for this.

V/A Meet Cafe Compilation cassette

Nine bands and 24 songs worth of punk/hardcore from around Canada and the US. While the sound quality is a bit fuzzy, there’s tons of hot stuff here from the likes of FATAL EXISTENCE, RED TIDE, IMMORAL MINORITY, POLKAHOLICS, BILL OF RIGHTS, SILENT MAJORITY, DEAD END, and others. All the songs are of a serious/political nature.

V/A Lasta EP

Great Finnish thrash storms in unparalleled savagery, as this little 7” delivers twelve slices by ten bands. Urgent commands of chaos scream as TERVEET KÄDET, HIC SYSTEEMI, RIISTETYT, KANSAN UUTISET, SEKUNDA, the BASTARDS, and more thrust a brutal display of effective stamina and potential. A well-chosen effort that serves as the prelude to an upcoming album.

V/A Jenseits vom Bundestag cassette

Several German, Austrians, and Swiss bands appear here and, like those on many of the sampler tapes I’ve heard lately, most are releasing material prematurely. The exceptions are MOTTEK (again) and the NEW BORN BABIES. Other groups include KNALLSCHOTEN, A-GEN 53, DIE REGEL, VOLKERMORD, etc.

V/A Inferno 2: Spandauer Punk cassette

Most of the bands herein are at an early stage of development… too early to be recording, I think. The exceptions are HALSABSCHNEIDER (appearing before on one side of a split EP) and the FUCKERS, both of who come up with some cool blasts.

V/A Homokohu 84 cassette

Seven bands (the DESTRUCKTIONS, TUOMITTUJEN JUHLA, KIIMA, W.D.M., KESKILUOKKA, P.C.B., and KÄYTTÖOHJE) share time on this tape. The first have already released a great album, but the others are younger whippersnappers. Some still have a way to go, although KESKILUOKKA has an outstanding screamer going for them.

V/A Holland Hardcore 2nd Attack cassette

The second in a series of good Dutch hardcore tapes features the mighty PANDEMONIUM and their brutal thrash assault, FUNERAL ORATION and their crafty manifestations of aggression, plus INDIREKT, C.K.N., SESAMZAAD, BLOEDBAD, and the ASPERITYS. Even though the sound quality is low, the effort allows the zesty music to be heard.

V/A Hau Weg Die Kacke cassette

A mixed bag of various punk styles and recording qualities, but with no real surprising gems. My faves are MOTTEK, who now appear on vinyl too. This tape has eighteen bands, each of who do two songs, including INFERNO, DIE MIMMI’S, and a host of lesser-knowns like NOTWAR, AUS 98, SPERRFEUER, etc.

V/A Chaos en France, Vol. 2 LP

The second installment of this French skunk-oriented series is infinitely better than the first. For one thing, the production is generally more powerful; for another, there is more musical diversity. Along with the many “skunk” (a fusion of skin and punk styles) outfits, one can find thrash (MOPO MOGO, NO CLASS, and NANA BONNARD), CLASH-inspired ’77 punk (the BRIGADES), rock ’n’ roll-punk fusions (LES COLLABOS), pop-punk (the RATS), and Oi (SK NIX). Recommended.

V/A Roodwitzwart LP

This can be quite a confusing record. It features four Dutch bands of different varieties, but the organizational layout makes it difficult to find where and who (although there are booklets and info sheets about the groups). JETSET has a belting punk sound with female vocals and lots of diversity in the rhythms, like a quick CRASS or DIRT; whining guitars and repetitious drumbeats are the musical highlights. BLOEDBAD hits hard with an anti-war/anarchy thrash attack, using basic drum boomings that are mixed too high. MASSAGRAF and BARBIE’S BOYFRIEND both have a slower post-punk sound that utilizes different effects with strange results.

V/A On the Street LP

A whole host of young bands debut here (PRIMITIVE, VICIOUS HAMPSTERS, ACID ATTACK, OI POLLOI, DEVOID, ABDUCTORS, CATCH 22, CRIMINAL JUSTICE, FUNGUS, 4 MINUTE WARNING, CLERGY, DEAD ON ARRIVAL, OBSCENE FEMALES, and ROUGH JUSTICE). The hottest, most powerful tracks belong to OI POLLOI, DEVOID, and CRIMINAL JUSTICE, while the rest are not great/not bad. This label, Sane Records, is a non-profit, dedicated to releasing unrecorded bands.

V/A Shed Your Pride cassette

Only contemporary Clevo bands are featured here. Many have appeared before on other compilations on their own releases (the PAGANS, the AGITATED, PARIS IN THE SPRING, the OFFBEATS, and the PINK HOLES), so I’ll just say a few words about the rest. ONE MAN’S HEAD has a female screamer, and she sounds good on the two faster songs; FAITH FACTOR plays garagy post-punk; and JUNGLE PARTY are a fun garage pop-punk band with potential.

V/A Rat Music for Rat People, Vol. 2 LP

Somewhat better than volume 1 of this series, this compilation contains material by the DICKS, the BIG BOYS, JFA, DRI, and MDC, along with a few others. The MINUTEMEN have a winner with “Fake Contest,” but DRI’s “Madman” and the MDC tracks rate as the highlights on this varied sampler. Inconsistent but still worthwhile.

V/A Nuke Your Dink EP

This spirited sampler of Nevada bands features both the scene veterans (7 SECONDS, Urban Assault) and the relative newcomers (the REMAINS, SUBTERFUGE, the EXPELLED, JACK SHIT, NO DEAL, and the YOBS, who have an incredible singer). There’s some fine punk by SUBTERFUGE and the REMAINS, and some churning thrash from JACK SHIT, but most of the rest of the groups suffer from that perennial Skeeno problem—lousy production.

V/A It Came from Slimey Valley LP

Yet another cleanly produced compilation from Mystic/Ghetto Way and, like Copulation, it contains a well-balanced mixture of thrash, punk, metal, and their permutations. I especially like DR. KNOW’s “Boys Life,” CRANK SHAFT’s cuts, and RIGOR MORTIS’s metallish “In the Trenches,” but overall it provides a good introduction to current developments in the Southland. Marc Rude’s grotesque cover art provides an additional bonus.

V/A Metal Moo Cow LP

Now what the hell’s goin’ on here? Well, it’s an electric sampler containing a bunch of psychotic Texans doing all sorts of weird shit. The FEARLESS IRANIANS FROM HELL, NAPALM, FEAST OF FOOLS, and TOEJAM perform demented experimental thrash, then you’ve got some incredibly inane hard rock (HEATHER LEATHER), schizoid psychedelia (SCRATCH ACID and the TECHNICOLOR YAWNS), “country thrash” (the HICKOIDS), metallic sleaze (the JEFFERSONS), doodling (MEAT JOY), and powerhouse thrash (the OFFENDERS). This must be what the BUTTHOLE SURFERS listen to all day.

V/A Half Skull EP

A sampler with four SoCal bands, all of who have that crisp, melodic semi-thrash style. M.I.A. and DECRY are particularly excellent musically, and M.I.A. definitely make the most acute lyrical observations, but there’s nothing to be ashamed of on here.

V/A Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Vol. 9 LP

I’ve always had a fondness for Ohio ’60s punk, and this is a wonderful collection. One can hear all kinds of wild sounds—pure punk, folk-rock, psychedelia, British beat style, instrumentals—that reveal that Ohio was one of the more interesting scenes. Some of the stars include the DEADLYS, the SQUIRES, the CHYLDS, and of course, Cleveland’s “BEATLES,” the CHOIR, one of the finest groups this country has ever produced. Please, A.I.P., we need more volumes from Ohio!

V/A Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Vol. 8 LP

It’s been a tough chore for ’60s punk fans to learn about the Southern scene, and this volume from one of the best of the reissue series helps to fill in a few of the many holes. A lot of Southern bands were pretty lame, as they concentrated on a more soulful approach with dopey horn arrangements. This release proves that there were also some tough punkers, like the RAVIN’ BLUE, the GAUNGA DINS, the ROGUES, and the HAZARDS, whose funny version of “Hey Joe” is alone worth the price of the album.

V/A 1984: The First Sonic World War LP