Hey, the shit’s gonna blow up no matter what I say. With a lineup that consists of The Generators, Bouncing Souls, Street Brats, Lucky Stiffs, The Skels, Riverboat Gamblers, The Ratchets, Black Romeos, The Pervz, The Explosion, The Sore Thumbs, and Armed Suspects, and everything being packaged in tattoo-flash styled sleeves and each record having totally different, totally wacky colored vinyl, this box set is, I imagine, gonna be moving some units. Like most comps, it’s a little spotty in some places (the Bouncing Souls, for example, contribute one not-so-good song and one song from their first BYO LP that came out about twelve years ago, and the Skels’ Dropkick Murphys-styled drunk punk has become a little tiresome to me over the past few years) but the majority of these bands have definitely got some electricity walking up their backbones. Riverboat Gamblers fucking smoke with two songs that sound like the Humpers on a meth binge, The Ratchets’ songs could’ve come from a long-lost Stiff Little Fingers session and both The Armed Suspects and The Generators brands of ‘77-style punk had me singing along by the first chorus. Generally, I think the whole tattoo-culture appropriation in punk over the past few years has become pretty played out and boring, but some of the vinyl here does looks pretty amazing. And sonically speaking, there are some fucking flat-out stunners on here. Quite a few of these splits have gotten and will continue to get some pretty consistent playing time around these parts.
–keith (Pirate Press)