VARIOUS ARTISTS: Punk Seven Inch CD, Volume One: CD

This is a collection of six seven inches that Lookout released in 1988 and 1989, and it was a cool thing for me to pick up because I used to order a lot from Lookout ten years ago, and I always wondered what these seven inches sounded like, but I never dropped the three bucks down to find out. So now I have my answer. The first two bands, Corrupted Morals and Isocracy, sound so similar that I can never tell when one band ends and the next begins. They both bridge the gap between the Dead Kennedys and Green Day, but neither Corrupted Morals nor Isocracy has anywhere near the talent of the bands that came before and after them. Both bands are snottier than a six year-old’s sleeve on a rainy winter day. The next band, Plaid Retina, sounds like a sped up Corrupted Morals or Isocracy. Still snotty. Still forgettable. Next up is the Yeastie Girls, who do a cappella raps about women’s issues and left wing politics. I’m not sure if it’s a joke or not, but I know I’m not listening to it twice. The next band is Surrogate Brains, and finally, you can hear some of the sense of humor and infectious melodies that made Lookout famous. These guys even forgo the snottiness for some sincere, gruff vocals. The Surrogate Brains EP would’ve been worth my money ten years ago. Finishing this disc off is Kamala & the Karnivores. Man, Kamala’s so nice; I’m such a dick. (Sorry, couldn’t resist). They put out four awesome, female-fronted pop punk songs (pop like the Go-Gos, punk like the Ramones. You can’t go wrong). So this basically comes down to a forty-seven song disc with ten good songs on it. That’s not a very high batting average. I don’t think these original seven inches are out of print, so you’d probably be better off picking up the Surrogate Brains and Kamala & the Karnivores records and letting the rest of it fade into obscurity.

 –sean (Lookout)