First off, I’ve got a deep admiration for Very Small Records. Know it or not, they’ve released many mighty influential comps and helped out a ton of then-obscure, now-well-known bands (like Operation Ivy, Pinhead Gunpowder, Green Day, Neurosis, and Jawbreaker) when they were just starting out. The guy who runs the operation, Dave, is probably one of the most up-standing citizens in a business and scene that is rife with a lack of ethics. You’d do very well to look at Very Small’s catalog. That said, this is my least favorite comp they’ve put out in awhile. Although I admire the open ear – there’s straight-up country numbers, let-me-suck-that-bar-towel drunk punk, and Small Wonder’s “Crop Duster” that sounds like it could be on a Indigo Girls solo album (or a female top forty song. Don’t press me. It’s not my realm of expertise.) , it’s an iffy affair, making it hard to put on and like – or at least tolerate – all the way through. There are some cool songs in the thirty-three: Super Chinchilla Rescue Mission, Grabass Charlestons, The Foxy Sluts, The Civic Minded Five, and the Bar Feeders don’t disappoint. But then there’s too much that’s just okay or something I’d wish not to hear like ’70s bar rock, mediocre pop punk, and just “plain, blah” rock. I say go with Faux Pas Potpourri, or either one of the two alcoholic-themed comps proceeding this one: Songs About Drinking or Liverache, which I like and recommend to this day.
–todd (Very Small)