VARIOUS ARTISTS: No Lip Volume 2: CD

There is something telling about this comp in that, on the back, the label wishes the bands “the best of luck and financial success.” It doesn’t come across as if they are very invested in the bands, does it? No commitment to the music implied. Maybe they were not looking for anything long term. Maybe it’s just me, but I find it suspect to wish bands on a “punk” compilation “financial success.” This collection of songs is entertaining in that it is a smorgasbord of what I hate about what is happening to music. The date on the comp is 2009, but this CD sounds like a collection of songs from a music industry convention sampler during “the year that punk broke.” The dominant styles range from overproduced pop punk with no soul to updated emo garbage and hard rock power chord bands that feel compelled to incorporate a pop riff in order to “expand their sound.” It is impossible to remember anything from the top of the list when you reach the bottom. The whole thing is bland. I am pretty cynical, but I still find it hard to listen to fourteen bands in a row without finding something redeeming about at least one of them. In that respect, it is a pretty amazing comp.

 –Billups Allen (Mohawk Bomb, mohawkbomb.com)