VARIOUS ARTISTS: Terminal Decay: LP

Compilations have always played a big part in the spread of punk rock. From early gems like Let Them Eat Jellybeans and Flex Your Head to early to mid-’90s CDs like Punk Sucks or Punk USA, it was the best way to find out about band you probably wouldn’t have heard about otherwise. At some point in the late ‘90s, the compilation was more of less replaced by the label sampler. There were still good things about these (cheap, and lots of bands), but the art of building a solid compilation was becoming lost. It’s a good thing that Welly knows a thing or two about what a compilation is supposed to be. He has managed to put together a stellar group of international bands in a way that fits together like the pieces of a big punk rock puzzle. The songs all work individually, of course, but when put in a certain order with all the other songs, it becomes an entity of its own. There are several bands that I already know and love on here (Night Birds, Arctic Flowers, Off With Their Heads, and Rebel Spell) and a bunch of stuff that is new to me (1981, Bad Sam, 40 Hells, and Agent Attitude, to name a few). It feels and sounds like a classic punk compilation to me. Throw in an amazing new issue of Artcore zine with interviews with the likes of Arctic Flowers, Night Birds, and 1981 and this comp is coming up a winner every time!

 –ty (Artcore, artcorefanzine.co.uk)