PUNK BROADCASTING SYSTEM VOL 1

I guess if you’re into this brand of crap (non-threatening teen pop punk), you already know what to expect from Coldfront, and you’ll probably eat this up.  Me, I haven’t seen MTV in years, and I can’t even tell the difference between a band like Blink 182, who everyone seems to hate, and some of the bands on here (All Systems Go, Ataris, Divit, MxPx, Midtown, Gob, Horace Pinker).  That said, watch now as I completely ignore those seven bands, run down the rest of the disappointments, and then get to the good stuff (there is some).  Refused have a pretty nice video, but their pleasant ambient intro devolves into a Fugazi/Rage hybrid that shoots them down.  I’m not sure who told the Vandals the west coast needed a Dead Milkmen of our own, but they’ve picked up that torch.  I’ll admit the all-studio-lipsynch video is fun to watch, as it seems like THEY had fun doing it.  The Travoltas go for Weezer musically, but their vid is hard to watch both for the clichéd femme fatale theme and for the overuse of wipes and cuts in general.  I’ve never been into Sloppy Seconds, but it’s hard to imagine how they’ve been around so long doing goofy teenage trash like this.  Pennywise: I don’t like Bad Religion, either.  Does AFI always look like they’re trying to be the Misfits? I don’t know, but the non-performance parts of the video are interesting black and white shots of the band walking around in spooky places that look to have been filmed on actual film; always helps.  The (International) Noise Conspiracy are mod and political, but I can’t let go the fact that they censored a cussword.  Maybe they did this video for viewing in our country’s elementary schools?  Snapcase’s Helmet-for-hoodies performance-only piece is as disposable as they come.  I think this is where it starts to get good, but my notes on The Movielife don’t seem to indicate whether I liked it or not , so we’ll say maybe.  I have never seen Flogging Molly, but their live performance of “Likes of You” is very charming, energetic and Guinness-powered and, thus, fine.  My favorite thing on here is by the Dwarves.  I haven’t heard anything by them in a long time, but I wasn’t prepared for the genre-jumping involved: a sort of Nine Inch Nails-ish grind trades off with a soft poppy love thing several times, with one quiet rap part thrown in for good measure.  Then the Strike rides a Clash city groove and wins best supporting animal with a cat in there.  Rounding out the good stuff is One Man Army with a mellow power pop performance.  Rounding out the whole video, however, is the Descendents.  This’ll be the part that gets me tarred, I reckon, but I’ve heard very little by them that I’ve liked, ever.  Their placement on the tape makes me think this is the ONE band that most of the Coldfront roster aspires to be, which in a way, I guess, kind of ties up the whole thing for me.  Never had it, never will.  If you happen to come into a copy of PBS Vol 1, I recommend chopping off the first 15 or 16 tracks and the last one, winding what’s left back into the case and watching it a couple times a year.  –Cuss Baxter (Coldfront)