VARIOUS ARTISTS: Punk Rock! 20 Classic Punk Bands from the World of Mystic Records: CD

A collection of assorted rarities from the Mystic Records vaults, courtesy of a label that appears to have either reissued or will reissue “vintage” releases from Gene Autry, Hall and Oates, and Rich Little, among others. For those not familiar with the particulars, Mystic was an infamous label in the 1980s notable for putting out seminal recordings by bands like Dr. Know, Ill Repute, NOFX, RKL, the Mentors, Vox Pop, Scared Straight (who later morphed into Ten Foot Pole, and then Pulley), Doggy Style (a member or two of which are responsible for Kottonmouth Kings) and Powertrip, among others, as well as later releases by Agression, The Faction, Sado Nation, and Government Issue. The label is best remembered by most who were active in the ‘80s punk scene for unleashing an avalanche of poorly recorded 7”s and compilations of some of the most horrifically generic hardcore imaginable in an apparent “whatever sticks” marketing approach. It is also remembered for controversy over its alleged (non)payment practices to a number of bands for their efforts, a debate that rages to this day in some circles. Tracks here represent some of the Mystic catalog’s better moments, with tracks from many of the aforementioned bands, as well as Mystic-exclusive tracks from Suicidal Tendencies, Flower Leperds, White Flag, JFA, Aryan Disgrace and others. Dunno whether any of said bands will receive any royalties for their inclusion here, but it’s nice to hear some of these tracks again after many a moon.

 –jimmy (www.VareseVintage.com)