VARIOUS ARTISTS: The New Wave of the Grave New Beat: CD

An international comp featuring twenty songs from twelve bands ostensibly repping a “new” direction in the whole D-beat phenomenon: using Discharge’s Grave New World era as the template. As with the lion’s share of stuff inspired by Discharge, the best of the bunch is the stuff that veers radically away from the basic sonic template (one tune is a quiet piece played on a piano), and the rest sound like, well, assorted bands covering Discharge, even if the songs they’re playing are “original” compositions. Boring. Look, I understand influence. As the Big Boys once sang, “everybody has their own.” Hell, many of my favorite bands have drawn heavy influence from Discharge, as have I on occasion. Going out of one’s way to sound as like another band as possible, however, shows the same staggering lack of creativity as blatantly stealing old band names, logos, and visual ephemera and trying to pass them off as your own. For good or ill, even Discharge understood that templates are made to be bent, twisted, stretched, mutated, or decimated, not revered and adhered to with blind dogmatic ardor. That’s what church is for. 

 –jimmy (Our Future)