Thursday, May 24, 2012

Various Artists - Punk-o-Rama 7

This is exactly what I want from a punk compilation. It features 19 different bands, some of which I was unfamiliar with before getting this album. It puts the best possible foot forward for each band, and it also forms a cohesive whole as an album. As far as punk compilations are concerned, Epitaph Records (who put out this comp) puts out the best ones, followed by Fat Wreck Chords (who has the best record label name ever) and just about everyone else ties for last place. Sure, there are some anomalies in which a smaller punk label might put out a decent comp, but if Epitaph or Fat Wreck Chords is on the label, you can be assured of general high quality. This is not to say that there are no decent bands on small time labels. There are plenty of great bands who are the biggest and best fish in their respective ponds, but the lack of other big fish in those ponds generally makes for bad comps by those labels because they'll literally fill out the album by pulling things out of the garage that would otherwise never see the light of day, and with good reason.

This very album is how I came to really love Hot Water Music, The (International) Noise Conspiracy, Division of Laura Lee, and a few other cool bands. I had never heard some of the aforementioned bands before buying this comp. Beyond the music, this album has excellent package design as do the other titles in the Punk-o-Rama series. This album did everything I could ever want a punk compilation to do, and I still love listening to it. So there ya go. That's my official endorsement.

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