VARIOUS ARTISTS: Punch Drunk IV: CD

It’s a shame that street punk and oi got the bad rap that they got. I’ll admit that some street punk bands did need to go, and that the wanna-be-working-class anthems did run thin, but for a few years there, TKO picked up the street punk banner and really ran with it. Their first couple of Punch Drunk comps were great. They introduced me to awesome bands like the Reducers SF, the Bodies, and the Beltones. This Punch Drunk, though, isn’t nearly as exciting as the old ones. Maybe it’s the trends of street punk or maybe the guys at TKO are just changing their musical tastes, but this comp definitely has more of a bar rock sound to it, thanks to bands like the Generators, Electric Frankenstein, Anti-Seen, and Cocknoose. There are also songs that don’t stray too much from the bar rock sound, but are still pretty good, thanks to bands like Hollywood Hate, Terminus City, and Bottles and Skulls. The Slaughter and the Dogs song makes me race for the fast forward button, and the new, otherwise-unreleased Smogtown song brings me back to the old days, when the Punch Drunk comps reaffirmed my faith in punk rock.

 –sean (TKO)