Top Sounds - Comps

A Celebration Of Punk Down Under {Sick World} An absolutely stunning DIY release from New Zealand’s Sick World Recs. You get six tracks on a sexy purple 7", with one side being given over to Australian bands, the other, New Zealand. Australia come up first with CULT KILLERS, BLADDER SPASMS and VICIOUS CIRCLE. All three do fast, grizzled Street Punk gear with CK doing a distinct anti-religion diatribe, BS lose control a bit during their BLITZ meets MOTORHEAD deal and VC steal the Aussie side with a brisk, tight incinerating piece of HC. New Zealand’s side kicks off with the disc highlight and one of the country’s best - GRIPPER who question New Zealand’s ‘pure’ reputation in a brisk, relentless piece of Punk Rock that’s propelled by a riff that falls somewhere between POISON IDEA and ROAD RAGE. GENERATION DEAD follow with a slightly disappointing track from their recent album (which is a cracker) leaving ELECTRIC MAYHEM to close matters with a gnarly, crossover kinda tune. It’s all wrapped in a superb screen-printed sleeve and includes an insert (although, some of the bands could’ve tried a bit harder here!). A truly stellar release from NZ. Location-based comps are always recommended and this is a fine representation of what’s going on down under. (15.06.14)

Blood Sweat And Punk: Vol I {Altercation} Label sampler featuring 22 tracks from an equal number of bands. Best moments include opener JUKEBOX ROMANTICS with a slice of BOUNCING SOULSesque Pop Punk, BUZZKILLERS that do an early Lookout Recs meets LEFTOVER CRACK sneerer, LOST IN SOCIETY that rage like SICK OF IT ALL but playing a DESCENDENTS song, BORN TO LOSE that rip it up like ZEKE trying to play AVAIL, DAMN BROADS that feature snotty, sneering female vocals deriding the pay-to-play ethic over 7 SECONDS style riff, DESIGNER DRUGS rock like X and closer PUNK BLUES REVIEW kinda oddly come on like VICE SQUAD. Other notables include an acoustic HUDSON FALCONS songs and THE SCANDALS who sound like early HUDSON FALCONS. Like most label samplers it’s hit and miss and like most label samplers, it doesn’t stand up to ‘Let Them Eat Jellybeans’, ‘Welcome To 1984’ or even ‘Bullshit Detector’. (29.12.12) 

Drop The Needle: Boston Punk Anthology {Trev} Needless to say, this features a bunch of bands outta Boston spanning a time from 1982-1995. It’s actually more of a document of the Stilphen brothers, Chuck and Glen, as most of the bands feature both brothers on guitar and bass. It kicks off with the infamous SMEGMA AND THE NUNS (who also featured members of GANG GREEN and THE FREEZE) and are easily the highlight here playing brisk, apolitical Hardcore. GANG GREEN follow with the original take of ‘Let’s Drink Some Beer’ before CELEBRITY DEATH CERTIFICATE introduce some visceral, hard-hitting Grunge that, had they been in Seattle, would’ve blasted a lot of those bands clean off the planet. SCRATCH continue that groove but with a less throat-lacerating vocal coming on like THE DWARVES, while MALLETHEAD are just dull Metal. Thankfully the most predominant bands on here are SMEGMA... and SCRATCH. Interesting stuff and, like many of Boston’s bands, the progression from quality HC to cumbersome Metal is notable but somehow more acceptable here than when compared with how SSD ended up. Definitely something all who have an interest in Boston HC should be hunting out. High quality sound too considering the era and that the master tapes no longer exist. (21.10.13)

New Rides Of The Furious Swampriders {Sireena} Fourth volume of this series that evokes the spirit of Jeffrey Lee Pierce as a visionary of dark, brazen and insolent blue-grass swamp rocking blues. I really enjoyed it too; it’s a collection of eclectic artists that make an album of sounds that befits a Sunday night wasted on whiskey before the start of another working week. There are 14 tracks with highlights being a mega-jam of Debbie Harry, Chris Stein, Nick Cave and Jeffrey Lee Pierce swaggering through the GUN CLUB classic ‘Lucky Jim’, GOLDEN KANINE crawling through a track that’s like Mumford And Sons on downers, LYDIA LUNCH with an all-star cast (including ex-CRAMP Kid Congo Powers) deconstructing another Lee Pierce track ‘Walkin’ Down The Street’ while JOHNNY DOWD does another Lee Pierce track but infuses it with the spirit of SUICIDE and opener WOVENHAND warped my senses with a track that seemed to fuse sitar and didgeridoo with the darkness of KILLING JOKE! Great stuff, and lots of the tracks have been released on Glitterhouse Records. (16.07.12)

These Troublesome Thinkers {TNS} Third in this series of exemplary mega-comps from those exemplary chaps at TNS Records. This one certainly deserves the term ‘mega’ too cuz over the two CDs there are 42 bands delivering a track each. Among the varied sounds of Punk, Ska, Hardcore, Dub and Rave (yep - Rave!!) there are plenty of crackers and very little filler. Highlights? STAND OUT RIOT, REVENGE OF THE PSYCHOTRONIC MAN, AUTONOMADS, DEAD SUBVERTS, (POP)ULATION, ICH, OFFICER DOWN... The list could go on. The actual tracking is interesting as the mish-mash of sounds is really eclectic with the Hardcore and Punk bands spread out between the other musical genres. Somehow, it all works and flows as smoothly as a pint of Guinness down my throat (and believe me, that is VERY smoothly indeed!). Neat booklet with contact info and more. It’s great to see a label like TNS that is resolutely DIY, that understands what makes the DIY ethic unique and is prepared to release a massive comp like this that is NOT just another fucking ‘label sampler’. More power to them. (04.09.12)

Without Kibou There Is Nothing... Vol.2 {Kibou} Bloody hell - volume two already and nine bands pressed on white vinyl this time!! This is a much more sonically mixed bag than the first instalment below. Best moments here include the relentless D-Beat cool of DIS-TANK, the wonderful fusion of synths and SCRATCH ACID-esque Punk of AUTOPSY BOYS who steal the whole disc as the undisputed highlight, DIJON MUSTARD fuse SNIVELLING SHITS and WIRE but make it sound totally relevant today and SCIENCE MADE US ROBOTS take CONSUMED style Punk and politicise it. Oh - another DOMESTICS cracker too. Other bands include the grungy ALBION, OVERLOAD’s Street Punk blast, SECOND IN LINE doing another SNUFF-esque winner and the unlistenable SOCIAL RUT that sound like they are being tortured in the back chambers of Guantanamo as opposed to doing anything enjoyable. This boasts the same quality packaging as the first volume and I hope this is an on-going series if the quality stays this high. I’m off to play the AUTOPSY BOYS track again! (14.07.14)

Without Kibou There Is Nothing... Vol: 1 {Kibou} Eight band 7" on a wonderful red/black marble vinyl and it kicks off with the precise hypercore of REVENGE OF THE PSYCHONTRONIC MAN and a track off the recent ‘Shattered Dreams Parkway’ album. Other goodies to follow in their wake include the raging Hardcore of THE DOMESTICS, former ICH man Ed Ache’s new project CASUAL NAUSEA, the righteous arrogance of youth that is THE MIGRAINES (think early 80s Midwest HC being played by locals from the home town of DISORDER) and SHITHOUSE that continue the distorto destruction. Other bands include JUST ADD MONSTERS, 5 STRING DROPOUT BAND and NO LAST WORDS. If you like your Punk and Hardcore fast, uncompromising and raw, you really can’t go wrong here. There is just enough variation to have your favourite tracks without having bands that all sound the same but with enough solidarity to realise none of these guys are looking at a fast-track to stardom. Opens up into a nice gatefold sleeve with lyrics, band biographies and a download code. If this is the state of Punk in the UK right now, it’s in a pretty fucking good way!! (10.07.14)

Hit HERE for material reviewed prior to 2012 including:
Bigger Than God: A Tribute To Poison Idea, Boss Tuneage Instant Single Collection Volume 3, Collective Underground Volume 1 and 2, Dr. Strange 20th Anniversary Comp, Fat Music Vol. 7, Fest 8 2009, Four Band Split, Mainstream Music Is Shit, Monster Session, The New Hope, Past Present, Skate Rock Volume 1, Snapper Magee’s Good Music And Booze Volume 1, Speed Kills But Who’s Dying, Suburban Home Sampler Winter 2008, Sugar Free Ear Candy Volume 3, This Is Peterborough, Too Much Music Too Many Bands, Triple Threat Of Terror, War Terror And Ice Cream, Welcome To 1984, Wrecktrospective