VARIOUS ARTISTS: Take Penicillin Now: CD

Jun 29, 2007

This one’s pretty fucking good. Consider it a G7 label sampler if you want to, but this CD somehow manages to transcend that ugly term of “sampler” despite, or maybe because of, the extremely limited packaging, but mostly just due to the bands on this thing, the quality of the songs and the brilliance of the idea itself. The CD cover is a close up of the anthrax-filled letter sent to Senator Tom Daschle back in October of 2001, the inside of the case simply says “Take Penicillin Now” and the insert simply lists the bands and the songs. There’s no contact information beyond that, but there’s also no accompanying catalog or rhetoric-filled hype about how amazing the bands are, which pretty much constitutes the death kiss of most label samplers in my opinion. There’s not even any contact info for G7 itself. There’s a smattering of apparently unreleased stuff on here, including songs by Propagandhi and Submission Hold, and other standouts include Greg Macpherson’s amped-up version of “Southern Lights,” the best song from Warsawpack I’ve ever heard, the haunting and subdued rage of “How Far Are You Willing to Go?” by Bakunin’s Bum, and Randy’s fist-in-the-air anthem “Losing My Mind.” But when you’ve got a comp as diverse yet solid as this one, with everyone from Swallowing Shit to The (International) Noise Conspiracy vying for space in your head, you’re gonna come out a winner one way or another. For more than a few years now, G7 has proven itself to be, as much as something inherently consumer-based as a record label can, thoroughly resistance-minded. The wonderful thing about this comp is that the music is the focus; it’s a document, rather than a sonic catalog. The minimal packaging flies right in the face of collector-nerd mentality, of limited releases, and colored vinyl and an emphasis on moving units and all the trappings like that. It seems to be entirely about the music and the messages contained within the songs. For that, I applaud G7, and with Take Penicillin Now they’ve put themselves up there as one of the most diverse, yet consistently solid, labels out there today.

 –keith (G7 Welcoming Committee)

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