Top Sounds - Comps

A Compilation: 2002-2004 {Newest Industry} I reviewed this label's debut release - NO CHOICE's awesome 'Dry River Fishing' album - in the last issue of Scanner and in the two short years between then and now the label has grown into one of the best in the UK with a stunning range of bands. I mean, check out these names: FOUR LETTER WORD, NRA, I EXCUSE, BLACK COUGAR SHOCK UNIT, PHOENIX FOUNDATION… fantastic stuff. This comp collects 27 tracks from all the label's bands + a few rarities in the shape of, thus far, unreleased goodies from NO CHOICE, BEDFORD FALLS, CAN'T SAY and a couple of sublime tunes from the soon-to-be-released new ANNALISE album. The best thing about the label, besides the consistently high quality of the packaging of its releases, is the variation in sound. Some of the bands are lightweight pop deals while others are flat-out Punk anger; but all are quality. As with all good label samplers, this is a budget priced deal too.

ALF SG Is This Wrong? (BM) 27-track, 10-band comp from the thrashier, crustier end of Hardcore. Highlights include the nuclear blast SLAYERish assault of CD openers AUDIO KOLLAPS, the CHAOS UK Punk explosion of THE DIRTY 30s, the relentless snappy bludgeon of album highlight BEYOND DESCRIPTION (whose brisk, precise riffing brought to mind early SSD), the CRUDOS-esque blitzkrieg of CIVIL RIGHTS and DOOM acting as an antagonistic sting in the tail at the disc's end. The remaining bands have little to differentiate themselves from each other - all growl and grind and thrash with little identity. Personally I prefer my Hardcore shorter, incisive and pointed rather than the more metal-influenced grinding of some of the stuff here.

Boss Tuneage Instant Singles Collection Vol.2 {Boss Tuneage} A really strong volume of this neat idea where six bands contribute a 7" worth of material to be released on a CD comp which is marketed (and priced) as a 7". It kicks off with the UK’s ROPE - smooth but rocking sounds with an ANNALISE feel, if played with the accessibility of GOO GOO DOLLS. Japan’s BABY LITTLE TABLETS follow and turn out to be one of the CD’s highlights. It’s fast, raw and catchy, kinda CRIMPSHRINEish and the most overtly political band on the CD. Japan just seems to be able to keep churning out these awesome bands. Next up is INNERFACE from Belgium which take GREEN DAY ‘Kerplunk’ era Pop-Punk and inject a bit of DESCENDENTS style speed. Great BLONDIE cover and a decent closing acoustic track too. Americans SKEETER follow with a BUFFALO TOM/FOO FIGHTERS deal. It’s my least favourite band on here, but that’s not to say a bad band. Scotland’s BEAUTY SCHOOL DROPOUT offer up the final five tracks the band recorded prior to its split and is best described as high-paced DICKIES meets VANILLA POD gear! IN HARMS WAY from Canada close the disc and provide the other highlight with four tracks that combine the melodic structures of the POSIES with the angular arrangements of the PIXIES and play it all with a ‘Tim’-era REPLACEMENTS cool. A mini-zine/guide accompanies the 23 tracks with Belgium, Canada and Japan taking the spoils. Bargain.

Brainsick Vol. 1 {Eugene} 12-track, 4-band comp that acts as a mini scene report on Lexington, Kentucky. Unfortunately, all the bands are way too Metal for me. Best of the bunch is DEEP 13 which owes much more to Punk than any of the other bands, although a Metal influence does sneak in. They provide the disc highlight with ‘Revolutions’ and also blast out a decent AGENT ORANGE cover. AND BULLETS FALL do a crushing HC deal, fast and angry with some Metal breakdowns and are the other better band of the four. The final two bands, A NIGHTMARE AND A CATACLYSM and CODES OF SILENCE are both pretty laughable with strangulated, growled vocals played over a hideous down-tuned Metal row. A NIGHTMARE... are just that - a nightmare, while CODES OF SILENCE, which unfortunately does not remain silent, feature a particularly annoying singer. Not a comp I’ll be rushing back to.

Breeding Disloyalty {Household Name} The latest 17-track sampler from the label that I consider not only to be the best in the UK, but also the most sincere and inspirational. And this sampler proves just why. You got it all here: Pop-Punk, Hardcore, Ska-core/Punk, Skate Punk - every genre that people like to pigeonhole bands in. Of course there are a couple of tracks/bands that do nothing for me - but even those display an obvious calibre. The highlights are many: the visionary warped Ska-Punk of LIGHTYEAR; a fantastic new slab of fast Punk from RED LIGHTS FLASH; the smooth jazz-funk-core of ADEQUATE SEVEN; the scathing, lacerating disgust of LEFTOVER CRACK; the bellicose belligerence of THE FILAMENTS and the colossal closing cacophony of the awesome JOHN HOLMES. That’s not to make mention of YE WILES, FIVE KNUCKLE, THE FOAMERS and DA SKYWALKERS. It’s the variation of sound and the quality of each band making those sounds that make this such a strong comp. I’m guessing this retails at a throwaway price too. Essential in one word - bloody essential in two.

Counter Attack (Beer City) As if more proof is needed of the fact that this label is releasing some stunning releases of late, then this is it. A huge 26-track, 22 band comp of all the label's latest releases including corkers from DRI, VERBAL ABUSE, TOXIC REASONS, RED FLAG 77, FACTION, MOTHERFUCKERS, VERY METAL and more. Each band is a burning, spitting, snarling combo - both old and new - which perfectly sums up the kinda sound this label is rapidly making its own. Judging by the stuff on here that is from soon-due releases, then the renown of this label is set to do nothing but improve.

Dirty Faces Vol 1½: The EPs 2005 {Dirty Faces} An interesting idea - three previously released EPs released on one CD selling for the price of a single EP. First up is the comp EP, 'The Kids Just Wanna Riot' which is named after the great DISTRICT song on the EP. Think COCK SPARRER playing THE SPECIALS. It's a fantastic singalong, guitar-laced Punk song but with a very sincere Ska bent - and it works a treat. THE REVOLVERS do a hyper '77 PISTOLS deal and nail it with suitable aplomb. The nihilism of PUNX ARMY's 'Smash The System' sounded a bit naïve while KASSIERER just sounded shite. Next up is a 4-tracker from German band CREEKS, which was pleasant enough in an early 999/VIBRATORS vibe. Finally, you get 5 tracks from KAMIKATZE, a raging, snotty, belligerent female trio from Sweden. This comes on like a fucking speeding freight train after the rest of the disc, going straight for the jugular with a sound similar to ABRASIVE WHEELS jamming with SQUAT with an early DISTILLERS bite. There's a disco-remix of one of their tracks on the end that comes on like 'Rape and Honey'-era MINISTRY. A real neat idea and a neat disc totally stolen by the nuclear snot rock of KAMIKATZE.

Dirty Half Dozen {Milliepeed} Impressive comp of six bands all rooted in the South-Coast Hardcore scene of England. Its main fault is that the two strongest bands open the CD. PILGER are a familiar name already and continue to impress with the 7 SECONDS/BATTERY brand of blistering HC. They’re probably the most political band on the CD too. HUMANS THE SIZE OF MICROPHONES follow with two tracks of bastardised BORN AGAINST/ASSFACTOR 4 embittered noise. It’s a totally out-there sound, executed with cutting precision and genuine invention. Awesome stuff. CIRCUS ACT are up next, doing a raucous RYDELL meets BLUE TIP deal which is particularly impressive on, ‘The Shape Of Drunk To Come’. DISOMA bored me to tears with over-long emo/math stuff. INTENT upped the HC stakes again with a mix of SOIA and YOUTH BRIGADE structures. As for YOU’RE SMILING NOW BUT WE’LL ALL TURN INTO DEMONS (hm… snappy name!), their solitary tune (all 15 mins plus of it!) started fantastically, like a sleazy HC version of THE HEARTBREAKERS. From there, the tune disappeared up its own a-hole and would have been more effective if left at about three minutes. These localised ‘scene’ comps are always more enthralling than a straight forward label-sampler and if this is the pick of what’s going on down on the UK’s South-Coast, then it appears to be a vibrant a place indeed.

Downloading MP3s Is Illegal And Punishable By Law {Recess} Two points: 1 - Recess Recs stands as the label for snotty, catchy, inventive Punk Fucking Rock in America. 2 - There is not a duff band on this 20-track, 18-band sampler. Yep, you need to know why Recess ranks so highly in the House Of Scanner? Get this. Highlights include the fantastic arrogance of the hugely underrated TOYS THAT KILL, the sublime brilliance of THE ARRIVALS (two tracks here), the spazzed, freaked Garagecore of SWING DING AMIGOS, BENT OUTTA SHAPE’s near perfect ‘MATS-esque slop ‘n’ roll groove, BERSERK’s wild angry screamed HC, fantastic Punk Rockage from both OFF WITH THEIR HEADS (a new band to me) and RIVETHEAD and the ever reliable FYP. Add on stunners by UNDERGROUND RAILROAD TO CANDYLAND, WEIRD LOVEMAKERS, MODERN MACHINES and PUD and a few more and you’ve got the aural equivalent of a dictionary’s definition of choice Punk Rock.

Down Under: A NZ/Aus Punk Compilation {Harbour City Records} Wanna know what’s going on in the world of Punk Rock down here in New Zealand and Australia? Look no further. This is a 22-track comp featuring 11 bands from each country - and there’s not a duffer on here! How many tired Yank label samplers can you say that about? The whole slab o’ noxious tuneage kicks off with a political, boisterous and totally smoking track from Australia’s THE DISABLES before Kiwis WE DUNNO fire a returning salvo. From there the Aussie highlights include the melodic but tough UNPAID DEBT (which is possibly the best of all the Aussie bands), SYDNEY CITY TRASH which is more POGUES than SWINGIN' UTTERS and better for it, BLACK MARKET with an AGAINST ME! style tune that has fantastic lyrics, GO SET that takes on FLOGGING MOLLY and pisses all over them instantly and the rather bizarre YIDCORE which combine Queen melodies in a DICKIES arrangement and end up coming on like THE FEEDERZ! New Zealand holds its own with two of the best bands on the comp: the incomparable RITALIN and the band that compiled this CD - NOT QUITE RIGHT. Other Kiwi Koolness includes the yobbish but clever REAL REAL SICK (think GOOBER PATROL jamming with ICONS OF FILTH!), BLACK CHROME blasting away without regard for civilities and leave the speakers scorched, SKAFACE CLAW (which includes Vanya of RITALIN) doing... Well... Ska-Punk but nice and abrasive (think CAPDOWN), NOT OK and SECLUDED BY RIGHT. There is a couple of metal-influenced bands towards the end which, if there is a low point, they provide it (especially given NZ’s ANTAGONIST is the be-all-and-end-all of that kinda stuff - not that I’m a fan). When you consider this fails to feature four of the best Kiwi bands (THE RABBLE, MISSING TEETH, COBRA KHAN and major labellers THE BLEEDERS) and at least two Aussie bands (AVO and HARD-ONS), yet it is still a top-notch, no-filler comp that puts to shame some of the so-called ‘bigger’ scenes around the planet, then I think the 'Down Under' scene can truly hold its head high. Really essential stuff for those into worldwide Punk Rock and those who can see beyond the ‘cool’ bands. Hit the Harbour City Myspace link in the title and find out about ordering details.

Flip Your Head Vol. 1 {Hit Your Head} Seventeen track compilation of bands from New Zealand’s North Island East Coast. It’s a mixed batch too but gratifying to see that all of the contributors have roots in the independent DIY scene. Obvious highlight is one of New Zealand’s best - TEMPO 38 - they get two tracks here and rock in a big way. Other choice moments include the PISTOLS-meets-Supergrass of BIG BLUE BLANKET, the pulsating electro-core of SERVO that comes on like SKINNY PUPPY fisting FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY, some neat PIXIES vibes from THE CLERICS and the closing TELEVISION PERSONALITIES meets DINOSAUR JR flirtations of GERTIE. If you need proof that interesting independent sounds of quality stem from outside the main centres of New Zealand look no further.

Generations {Revelation} One of Punk’s ‘Big’ labels finally has the sus to release a comp that is not a dismal ‘label sampler’. Indeed, on its release, it failed to feature a single band already signed to Rev. Good on you guys! This smokin’ 18 track, 16 band slab is all about HC – the kinda gear that Rev made its name with. Highlights include the opening turbo blast from GO IT ALONE, the Dag-Nasty-on-speed core of LION OF JUDAH, the monumental riffage of SINKING SHIPS, DOWN TO NOTHING’s clinical precision, the MDC-esque thrash played via Poison Idea intensity of COLD WAR, the now token greatness of FUCKED UP and the closing Boston thrash of MENTAL. Not all of it is my thing; BLACKLISTED are more Metal than HC, ROBOT WHALES just plain bored me, MIND ERASER are too ENT meets Judge and RIGHTEOUS JAMS still don’t impress. But hey – that’s the nature of comps and when you consider all the tracks here are exclusive, you’re looking at an essential, modern day HC comp.

Get A Haircut {Zerox} Really comprehensive and enthralling 31-track slab documenting the best of Kiwi Rock 'n' Roll. But let me make it clear, this is NOT a Punk comp a'la 'AK.79'. This dates back to 1959 and features a big swathe of cool Kiwi Punk, but also much more. Of the pre-Punk stuff THE LA DE DAS and THE BLUESTARS are real highlights with the latter taking Rolling Stones arrogance and playing it with a power-Mod delivery akin to The Who. When Punk hits, you get THE SCAVENGERS classic, 'Mysterex' + goodies from TOY LOVE, ENEMY, ANDROIDSS, DUM DUM BOYS and PROUD SCUM followed by the more HC attitude of FLESH D-VICE and STICKY FILTH before moving onto a cornucopia of rockers from 1990 to today including SHAFT, the mighty D4 and the less-than-mighty DATSUNS. Packaging is awesome, with an article on the history of NZ Rock + anecdotes from the musos to accompany every track. Not a comp that will appeal to every Punk Rocker, but one to appeal to everyone with an interest in Kiwi Rockage.

Good Vibrations Punk Singles Collection {Anagram} Another of Anagram’s essential ‘Punk Collection’ CDs, this time focusing on Irish label, Good Vibrations. The label is usually noted for little more than releasing the first ever UNDERTONES record, the classic ‘Teenage Kicks’ 7" (represented here with the b-side, ‘Smarter Than U’). For those who believe that the label was nothing more than a vehicle for the UNDERTONES, take a listen to the 25 tracks here as you are missing out on some classic sounds. It kicks off with the inspirational debut single from RUDI, ‘Big Time’. From there you get the classic OUTCASTS singles, PROTEX, VICTIM, the sole notable track from THE SHAPES, RUEFREX and THE BEARS (yep, the same band that was on the ‘Farewell To The Roxy’ album) being the main names. There are about another dozen bands too, all given liner-note space courtesy of Mark Brennan. Each one of these comps is worth investing in, but this volume, from a label far-too-often overlooked due to the UNDERTONES connection, deserves special attention.

I Don't Want To Be The One To Say It {Rabbit} Australia’s finest label celebrates its 20th release with this 23-track behemoth! Highlights are many here too - resident house-band THE CRITICS start things and churn out a new, unreleased version of ‘Switch On’ that shreds + ‘Hard Pressed’ from the awesome ‘The Incentive…’ release. From there you get the UK’s fantastic ANNALISE, Japan’s THE URCHIN, TRAVIS CUT rears its collective head with the incisive, snappy ‘Not My Idea Of Fun’, the bratty snot of THE DEAD ENDS, the much-missed CHOPPER, the cynicism of DEVOTCHKA and the refined JAWBREAKERisms of WHITECHAPEL. On top of those highlights there’s also great stuff by CRANK, CHANGE OF FACE, LOVE CAMP 7, CAUSTIC SODA and TILTWHEEL. Add on about another 5 or 6 bands and the resulting comp is a chunky slab of silver Punkage that is as satisfying as it is rocking – and it rocks big time.

Music By People Who Drink Cider In The Gutter {TNS} Neat 20-track comp of UK Punk and Ska bands. The overall quality is really high; given the album’s title it’s easy to imagine this is little more than glue-snorting Street Punk bands when in reality it’s a varied, rewarding and blazing Punk Rock listen. Highlights are THE DANGERFIELDS, THE KIRKZ, BUZZKILL, DOG TOFFEE (which rages against the NME hype machine), some killer ‘core action from SOUNDS OF SWAMI and the STRIKE-esque political Punk of DEATH BY DECIBALS while top-notch Ska rockers include ON THE TURN and SPEEDING BEE. Others include REVENGE OF THE PSYCHOTRONIC MAN, THE GREAT ST. LOUIS, THE FRACTIONS, THE SHUFFLE and JUST PANIC (which attempts to rip AGAINST ME! but end up sounding like a Punked MEN THEY COULDN’T HANG!). The only negative is the packaging. Some information about each band - even website/ contact addresses - would have been handy. Still, minor gripe aside, this is a quality comp of UK Punkage.

Only The Diehard Remain {Horror Business} Ten years of Horror Business is celebrated with this 80 minute, 37 track mega-comp. You get a load of Punk, a pile of HC and a bit too much metal for my liking, with several mixing all the genres up. Highlights for my ears were the spikier, HC bands with the big hitters being COMMON ENEMY, VITAMIN X, RENTOKILL, 2nd DISTRICT, THE VADERS, SLUP, LxExAxRxNx, SIX BALLS ONE, MISFIT SOCIETY, SIDETRACKED and KROMBACHERKELLERKINDER. Following that pack of coolsters are YACOPSAE, KILLING CHORD, FTX, JASON and NOT ENOUGH. There’s something here for everyone and, not only that, it’s free with every order from Horror Business Records. Good work guys!

Our Small Tribute to Blondie {Trash2001} I always approach tribute albums with suspicion. They're either full of brain-dead clones doing straight versions or bands that are simply out to murder the originals. Thankfully, this avoids both trappings - generally. BLONDIED, however, fall into the first bunch and, as the band's name suggests, is a bona fide tribute band - more like a cancerous lump devoid of artistic ability. What's the point? I have BLONDIE records - I don't need some half-baked bunch of turds doing such straight and pointless copies! Thankfully, the rest of the album is adventurous and packed with highlights. The awesome ROTTEN APPLES do a killer take of 'Picture This', the snot-rockin' GUV'NORS burn up 'One Way Or Another' and the closing sobriety of RAGAZZA's 'Fade Away And Radiate' is quite majestic. Best track though has to be GENEPOOL's reworking of 'War Child' into a dramatic, Gothic stomper that really impressed. Even the Ska bands seemed to work (not that I liked them though!). All in all, this is an interesting slab that should appeal to BLONDIE fans on a level beyond novelty. First 1,000 come in a digipack.

Play It Loud, Vol. I (Trash 2001) I’m not sure I understand the marketing of this. This is an 18-track label sampler, packed in a big, neat gatefold sleeve. Not only do you get that awesome 12" slice o’ vinyl, but also the CD. Still, it retails at the price of a mini-LP, so it’s quite the bargain really. Of the bands featured you get a couple of tracks a piece from the awesome ROTTEN APPLES, the snotty and boisterous NEGATIVES, the sub-SPARRER/UPSTARTS drone of RED LONDON, the DICKIES-laced tuneage of DERITA SISTERS plus a single blazing slab of NEW BOMB TURKS-ish Garage snot from ELECTRIC HELLCLUB. Highlight of the disc has to be BARSEROS. One of their two tracks is a hyper fast blast through the JOHNNY THUNDERS classic ‘Junkie Business’. The best thing about it is that it is a respectful take on the song, rather than being plagiaristic. A pretty hot label sampler in all, and considering this label released a DEE DEE RAMONE/TERRORGRUPPE split (unfortunately NOT represented here), is seems they certainly know their spikey stuff.

Rebel High Vol. I {Rebel High} 21 tracks from 14 bands make up this comp of modern day Kiwi Punkage. All bands, bar three, are from the Dunedin area, so it makes for a decent snap shot of all that is happening down south. A good number of these tracks are previously unreleased, which makes for interesting listening even if you are familiar with all the bands. On a negative, at least six of the bands have already split up… oh well… them's the breaks in this Punk Rock World. Highlights include two of NZ's best bands around at the moment: MISSING TEETH and RITALIN. Other notables include THE PUKES, THE CARNYS, the slashing thrashcore of SCHOOL OF MEAT and the amazingly tip-top Ska-Punk of STINKY 69. Dunedin mainstays BLISTERING TONGUES, TWO FAT LADIES and MOTHRA also appear. Good stuff - roll on Vol. II.

Rock Against Bush Vol. I (Fat Wreck Chords) The first in a series of anti-Bush comps which features some big names who are maybe looked upon in the Punk world with a sense of ridicule and/or disdain - such as SUM 41 - but the cause most definitely justifies the means. A lot of these tracks are unreleased or rare and include among their number DESCENDENTS, a killer from ANTI-FLAG, RISE AGAINST, an incredibly scathing OFFSPRING tune, MINISTRY, NOFX, GET UP KIDS and NEW FOUND GLORY. Of the tracks already released you get the majestic SOCIAL DISTORTION, STRIKE ANYWHERE, EPOXIES, JELLO BIAFRA with DOA and PENNYWISE. There’s also a whole DVD of educational material, films and music videos while the packaging clearly lists some of Bush’s unequivocal inadequacies. I think it goes without question that most informed Punks realise that Baby Bush is the worst and most self-aggrandising President the USA has ever seen. If you disagree - fine, that’s you prerogative. But give this comp a go and if it changes the perspective of just ONE pro-Bushite conservative republican, then it has done its job.

Rock Against Bush Vol. II {Fat Wreck Chords} If the volume above seemed a whopper, this is even more so! You get a total of 28 tracks here plus the bonus DVD disc. Like the above, this features some bands that have crossed over into the mainstream, or have less obvious Punk roots. So, you get a killer GREEN DAY rarity, FOO FIGHTERS doing a spirited take on ANGRY SAMOANS’ ‘Gas Chamber’, NO DOUBT and SLEATER-KINNEY. The Punk big guns here are RANCID, BAD RELIGION, LAGWAGON and a nearly interesting acoustic track from NO USE FOR A NAME. Other highlights include unreleased corkers from DILLINGER FOUR, HOT WATER MUSIC, a live ‘Chesterfield King’ from JAWBREAKER and the old classic, ‘Unity’ from OPERATION IVY. As with the above, it should not be an issue as to whether your purist Punk ideals allow you to appreciate the music on this disc; the importance of these releases is motivating what is probably an apathetic youth into getting Bush OUT of power. I’d like to think most reading this realise Bush is the most corrupt, self-serving and deceptive president the US has ever had. If comps like this can influence an unpoliticised NO DOUBT fan into checking out DILLINGER FOUR and becoming aware of the evils of the Bush administration, then that is NOT a bad thing.

$lave 2005 Sampler {$lave} Nine band, 18-track comp of bands outta the Palmerston North area. It's an incestuous thing too, with several guys playing in about three different bands. Things kick off with the riff-heavy, intense Metal of 7.62 SHORT. Next is the snotty Garage goo of BLACK CHROME; an incendiary, raw sounding band like Pagans meeting early Snuff. A couple of Metal bands follow, HELLBORNE and THE HENDERSONS. The former is dull, sludgy stuff that does nothing for me. The latter is a spoof of sub-Sabbath riffing, Tull-tinkering and eclectic vocals. Both ROGUE STATE and THE GOVERNMENT PEST do that Godflesh electro-core kinda stuff, with the former doing it better. SCOURGE OF TUSSIN grab Greaser Rock by the balls and crank out some nasty Dwarves-style tuneage. TURBOSTILL and WALL OF SILENTS round it all off with the former sharing TUSSIN's penchant for gnarly rock 'n' roll while WALL… is simply doom-laden Metal dullness.

Standing Hard: A Youth Of Today Tribute {Embrace} An impressive 22-track tribute to this seminal sXe band. This Malaysian label has compiled a truly international set of bands from countries as diverse as USA, Philippines, Germany, Guatemala, Italy, Malaysia, Denmark and more! Most of the tracks are faithful takes on the originals and, of all 22 bands, there are only about two that should have been drowned at birth. Highlights include Hungary’s blazing HOLDXTRUE, South Korea’s thrash-tastic THE PATIENCE, Florida’s MAKE OR BREAK, Serbia’s abrasive THE TRUTH OF XXX and the closing, disc-stealing winner from CRICKBAT with a rampant ‘Disengage’. Packaging is top-notch too, with comments from each band and liner notes. YOT fans - of which I am one - should snap this up as it’s respectful, sincere and flies outta the speakers with often alarming ferocity. Good work Embrace!

25 Years Of Birmingham Punk (Punk Shit) - Huge 28 tracks covering 25 years of Brum Punk Rock. Kicks off with the ultimate Birmingham classic, GBH's seminal 'City Baby Attacked By Rats'. From there you also get DOGSHIT SANDWICH, EASTFIELD, POA, PIGFISH, SPITHEAD and CONTEMPT to name but a few. These localised comps always provide a more enthralling listen than the cash-in label samplers, and the liner notes make for interesting reading (usually). There's stuff here for just about everyone too - HC, 82 Street Punk, Ska, Pop-Punk - the works. Not all the bands hit the spot, but that's another trait of comps. £5.50ppd from the DOGSHIT SANDWICH review address.

Ted Rogers EP {Rowdy Farrago} 3-way split EP kicking off with yet more new tuneage from DESTRUCTORS 666. Have to say, it’s top-drawer stuff too. Opener ‘Glam Rock Lip Lock’ kicks off in RAMONES style and ends like da brudders jamming with COCKNEY REJECTS - choice! A flamin’ FLAMIN’ GROOVIES cover and an ode to VELVET UNDERGROUND round off a strong set of rock-tinged Punkers. THE RUINED up the snot-o-meter with a couple of rockers that combine early AFI snotcore with the balls-out rocking muscle of prime-time ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT slugging it out with THE MISFITS. Smoking stuff! PUNKY REBEL MEDIA close with a fantastically eclectic track that borrowed from THE POISON GIRLS and ‘Shhh’ era CHUMBAWAMBA that results in a neat political slice of quirkyness. A neat EP with THE RUINED taking top honours.

TKO Records 2007 Free Sampler {TKO} 19 band, 21 track sampler from TKO highlighting a roster of acts that sees the label with some of the best bands it has probably ever signed. Check it: LOWER CLASS BRATS (the opening ‘New Seditionaries’ is a particular highlight), THE STITCHES, a cracker from the reformed SMOGTOWN, SMUT PEDDLARS and particularly impressive slabs of ‘core from KRUM BUMS, 46 SHORT and the essential, monumental POISON IDEA. There are some neat vintage UK tunes from COCK SPARRER, CHELSEA (sounding incredibly fresh!) and SLAUGHTER AND THE DOGS. There’s forthcoming crackers from ANTiSEEN (albeit a re-issue), SHOCK NAGASAKI and another cracker from the STITCHES. Gotta say, everything THE TEMPLARS or THE BOILS have ever done leave me nonplussed (cold even)... and those bands’ tracks here are no different. How do you get this neat freebie? Order something from the TKO website - may I suggest KRUM BUMS, LOWER CLASS BRATS, SMOGTOWN, STITCHES and COCK SPARRER for starters.

The Ugly Truth About Blackpool {JSNTGM} A 27-track comp of bands all from Blackpool that dates back to 1977 with the contentious issue of including a SKREWDRIVER track. Yeah, it pre-dates the band's infamous Nazi stage, but even so, I think I'd have preferred to have seen the band omitted entirely. The tracks are arranged chronologically leading up to 2005 with one of the disc highlights, SICK 56. Other peaks include 1982 (ONE WAY SYSTEM), 1983 (THE FITS) and 1988 (THE MEMBRANES). A way more appealing comp than another cash-in label sampler - at least you have a sense of place and progression here. Not all the bands 'rattled my dags' but it was an interesting listen. Comes free with the 'Blackpool Rocks' zine.

The Ugly Truth About Blackpool Vol II {JSNTGM} Shit fire - has Blackpool really got 26 independent bands all recording and in existence right now? It’s a mixed bag taking in a healthy dollop of Punk + Indie, rock, folky acousticness and a bit of psychedelic hippieness. There were only a couple of bands that I would gladly have executed with a maximum amount of pain, so that’s a pretty good ratio for good stuff. Highlights were disc opener SICK 56 with their vicious and savvy UK82 Punk sound, ONE WAY SYSTEM, LITTERBUG, HIGGINS ++ fine re-working of DEAD KENNEDYS’ ‘California Uber Alles’ with an added UK twist, the bratty OUTL4W, SENTON BOMBS, KRAUL and the dirty grebo rock of UFX. Personally, I’d rather have seen an 18-band release with the tamer bands removed, but as an ‘aural scene report’, this is a fine job well done.

This Is Not Your Soundtrack For Violence {Horror Business} Props to Horror Business for this massive 47-track, 27-band comp that derides the violent, macho dancing bullshit at HC Punk shows. When the quality of said comp is as blazing as this, it’s even better. 12 bands get multiple tracks with highlights being the snotty skate Punk of COMMON ENEMY, the cool core of STRAIGHT CORNER, INTRUDER which combines CHAIN OF STRENGTH with some killer thrash, YACOPSAE that deliver a couple of covers (GANG GREEN and VERBAL ABUSE) in its unrelenting thrash-attack style and SIDETRACKED that batter the senses like prime-time SICK OF IT ALL. WOOF, CIDESTEP and NOT ENOUGH deserve special mention for doing some cracking classic HC covers too. Of the bands with one track, highlights are KILL YOUR IDOLS, DENY EVERYTHING, COBRETTI, SIX BALLS ONE and the noxious TWATS (truly smokin’ stuff!). A few Metalcore bands are on here too. Horror Business has packaged this with a neat booklet containing lyrics and contact details. Definitely a comp with a point to make, offering rare goodies and way more than a bland label-sampler. Hurrah for Horror Business!!