Okay, here’s the deal: I’m an old punk fart, and as such I still get excited over compilations, especially regional ones. For much of my youth, compilations were the best—and sometimes the only—way to hear the greatest, most interesting stuff coming out of the little pockets of creativity spread across the planet. These days, however, this excitement more often than not gives way to utter disappointment ‘cause so many of ‘em are absolutely wretched anymore and too often serve as a cheap way for labels to hawk their wares rather than as proud statements of a scene’s existence. Still, every time I come across a comp in the piles, I light up and can’t wait to plop on what I hope will be a treasure trove of gems no longer hidden in the deepest recesses of the underground. So where does this comp stand, you ask? Well, of the nineteen bands presented here, all of whom apparently have some connection to this area in eastern England, only three were of the remotest interest: Angels Of Malice, Punky Rebel Media, and long-in-the-tooth and prolific punkers The Destructors. The rest cover every bad clichéd corner of the corporate-rebel faux underground revolution—mall punk, emo, plop pop, even aspiring heirs to Sigur Ros’s opiate-drenched dream throne. I’m really not trying to slag this off to be an asshole, and some here are better than others at what they do, but on the whole there really ain’t much here to elicit a response better than, “eh.” By the looks of this, a lot of work was definitely put into this, which shows they cared about what they were doing and kudos to ‘em. Thing is, I dunno if this is intended to be an honest attempt at showcasing the area’s finest or a statement on the deplorable condition of its so-called underground, ‘cause if this is the best Peterborough has to offer, they be in pretty dire fuckin’ straits.
–jimmy (Rowdy Farrago, no address)