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Punkzilla by Various Artists

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Reviewed on 1st June 2002.



By Various Artists

You say nu-metal and I say nu-punk, nu-metal, nu-punk, nu-metal, nu-punk, hey let's call the whole thing off! Nitro Records they say "here is a Compilation of some of our very best releases from the past and present", I say "great, another punk compilation album... you shouldn't have... no really you shouldn't have."

Nitro (like most labels) do the thing of taking on infant talent and when they get to the "too big for their boots" stage, letting them fly off to pastures new (The Offspring - whose early Nitro efforts feature here). They also do the thing off buying up has-beens who won't take the hint and still have mortgages to pay (TSOL and The Damned).

This compilation won't take you to new territory but it's a solid reputation of Nitro's Yank Punk roster. There are some moments of genuine ear-pricking interest and a lot more of "pass you by in the blink 182 of an eye" tracks. But for your po-going 17 year old this is a perfect addition to their virginal CD collection and tuneful enough at times to plug-in that air guitar.

So for your digestion here are the one line reviews of the artists and their efforts gracing Punkzilla:

* A.F.I - Shouty, heavy and tuneless at times, more mainstream than the rest mind you.

* The Damned - Nice retro moment, but you soon realise that punk just isn't punk when you can play well.

* Bodyjar - Pop-tones galore and a stand out from the rest (excellent stuff)

* The Vandals - Scarily "They Might Be Giants" play punk at times, but it's worth it for the lyrics alone - corkin!

* Rufio - Blink 182 sound-a-likes: same melodies, same chord structures...the same infact!

* The Offspring - Edgy earlier offering than the corporate frat party dross they turn out now and better for it.

* T.S.O.L - Original daddies of Yank Punk still doing it well and displaying that old skool English influence that the others lost along the way.

* Stavesacre - Hardcore and a little more interesting.

* Ensign - Metal Punk: always a give away when your shouting "Destroy" in your songs.

* Guttermouth - A little different to the rest, distinguished by their posed/spoken vocal style combined with shouty BV's.

* Divit - Slightly retro, more rock than punk, think American China Drum and your somewhere close.

* Original Sinners - Nice to hear a female voice, but not particularly memorable for it.

* Son of Sam - Goth Punk, not something you see every day.

* The Turbo AC's - Not as unique as the inlay suggested seeing as I had to check that I'd heard the track at least 2 times.

So all in all an average collection of some bland, some interesting, some non-descript and some same-old same-old. Like most compilation albums it lacks soul and if you ain't a punk fan don't bother. On the other hand if you are a fan of the genre or fanatical about one of the bands mentioned above then it will plug a very small gap in your collection quite nicely.



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