VARIOUS ARTISTS: The Pop Punk Circus is Back in Town: CD

Three-band comp here, with the Hunchbacks, the Waukees, and the Battledykes all vying for first place. Hailing from the UK, Italy, and Germany respectively, two points should be given to the label for giving us something that’s at least geographically diverse. Unfortunately, that’s where the diversity ends. The title of the comp is pretty telling. Three female fronted pop-punk bands singing songs about boys, cars, and more boys. For every lyrically smart, razor-sharp pop punk band (Discount, the Thumbs, and Rivethead come immediately to mind), there’s four or five dozen fairly catchy but hopelessly vapid number-crunchers like these folks. I mean, “My Car Is So Cool”? “Gay Boyfriend”? Give me a break. It just gets to the point where the sweetness is cloying, you know?

 –keith (All-Nite)