Over the years, LA punk has seen many comps come along, many purporting to be the definitive document of the city’s so-called scene. While some have been, to put it politely, utter sonic horseshit, others have been quite good and a select few now reside in the “true classic” category. The dilemma, though, is that it’s near impossible to effectively put together a “definitive” compilation of Los Angeles’ punk scene, mainly because there are so many sub-genres, sub-scenes and sub-regions within the County’s parameters alone, and when you add the going-on-25-year argument over what is, in fact, “punk,” things get very sticky, indeed. Enter this, a compilation of “fifteen bands from underneath the ruins of Southern California.” Collected for your aural pleasure are one track each from The Rolling Blackouts, The Checkers, Neon King Kong, The Flash Express, The Orphans, The Alleged Gunman, Squab, Thee Make-Out Party, The Pinkz, The Fuse, Radio Vago, Miracle Chosuke, The Lipstick Pickups, Fast Forward, and the Starvations, all of which do what they do, from ’60s-inspired trash rock to straight punk to Devo-damaged artpunk, and they do it very well. The non-inclusion of some personal favorites notwithstanding (and, honestly, who can say that they’re pleased as punch with the lineup on ANY compilation ever released), there’s some really, really good listening to be found here, and I can easily see it rightfully fetching huge sums of money on Ebay in a few years. Does it serve as an exhaustive document of the myriad hues of punk to be found in Southern California? Not by a long shot. Then again, when a comp rocks this hard, who really gives a fuck?
–jimmy (Revenge/ Star Maps)