VARIOUS ARTISTS: 12th and G, Chino, CA: LP

One yardstick to hold up a comp of a super-down DIY place (1919 Hemphill, 924 Gilman) is looking at the listing on both sides. (This doesn’t work as well digitally. I’m looking at you, interwebs.) But don’t treat them as sides of a record. Treat them as two shows. Would I go to side A’s show? Side B’s? And even if you don’t know all the bands, are you in good hands? Do places make friends? No—12th and G was just a leaky warehouse with a skate ramp, a fridge, and a PA—but the people inside those places can. Friendly, honest, fun-loving, down-for-the-cause people. Not hypothetical circumstances, not a fantasy football version of punk rock or a corporation rock version of punk. This is rent-to-pay-is-not-an-excuse-to-be-a-douche-to-bands punk rock. And the comp. reflects the guiding principles of 12th and G. well. It’s unmistakably DIY punk at its core, but it’s unafraid to lend high fives to bands who also dip into metal, hip hop, and the mellower fare. The strongest testament to this comp is that it’s a direct, honest reflection of music that’s being made in America today; of music that came through their doors, to music that they helped nurture by providing a genuinely great place to play. Due to cops on the interwebs (again, fucked by digital) being bummed that the city of Chino wasn’t getting their graft and kickbacks—and under the guise of “protecting the children”—the warehouse was shut down in April, 2011. This comp is a love letter. I intentionally didn’t mention one single band in this review because it’s bigger than just one band. It’s a matter of trust, like when Donna Ramone or Horror Tim or Marty Ploy or Christina Zamora say, “Dude, just listen to this band.” You put time aside in your busy schedule and just listen to some really good shit.  –todd (On The Real, ontherealrecords.tumblr.com)