VARIOUS ARTISTS: Part Time Punks Session Sampler 5: 2 x CD

Part Time Punks, not to be confused with the T.V. Personalities song that inspired its name, is both a long-running radio program on L.A. radio station KXLU and a long-running series of weekly live gigs showcasing a variety of sounds from the punk/post-punk underground. I’ve long considered myself a bona fide fan of both, so purchasing this at one of their recent gigs was a no-brainer. Like John Peel’s legendary “sessions,” PTP records exclusive sessions of assorted bands—according to the PTP website, there have been at least one hundred such recordings made—that are then aired on the show and collected on “samplers,” which are used as incentive to donate to the radio station during fund drives, and apparently sold at shows. This is the fifth such sampler, hence the title, and it’s a doozy. The sonic sequence this time ‘round (and I haven’t heard any preceding volumes, so I dunno if there are different themes unique to specific volumes) start off in the dream pop end of the spectrum, then segues into full-on shoegaze stuff, icy synth/synth punk, goth/death rock, indie rock, and other loosely related subgenres before closing out with a post-punk couplet of Flaamingos covering Joy Division’s “Transmission” and Manatee covering the Cure’s “A Forest.” In all you get thirty-eight seriously good tracks by thirty-eight bands, including DIIV, Mac Demarco, ADULT., Seapony, Savages, Black Marble, Surf Club, Medicine, The Wedding Present, Grave Babies, Lebanon Hanover, and many others. I know that “good” is relative depending on one’s disposition to the ground covered, but I fail to find a clunker in the bunch here—the song selection, sequencing, production, and performance are all top-notch. Haven’t come across any other volumes yet, but I’m definitely keeping an eye out for ‘em, and I highly recommend ye do the same. 

 –jimmy (Part Time Punks,