VARIOUS ARTISTS: Tower 13: LP

I didn’t think it was possible, but the boys at Hostage have actually managed to outdo themselves. After releasing two near-perfect comps, they manage to raise the bar even further with this, quite possibly the most consistently good compilation of Southern California punk in decades. You get all killer and no filler here, with the bands (The Drips, The Fakes, Smogtown, Broken Bottles, The Pegs, The Main, The Decline, Ciril, Smut Peddlers, The Crowd, D-Cup, The Revlons, Discontent, The Negatives, Thee Indigents and Cell Block 5, respectively) mining not only the post-Posh Boy/OC sound this label is known for, but also dabbling in hardcore (the Crowd, of all bands, turn in an uncharacteristically thrashy tune here) and punk’n’roll territory on occasion as well. All you nay-sayers and Chicken Littles crying out that punk is dead need to pick up a copy of this, as this is living proof that “real” Southern California punk rock is alive and doing fine in 2003, thank you very much.

 –jimmy (Hostage)