VARIOUS ARTISTS: Welcome to 2013: LP

A lot of hardcore comps are failures from the get-go. It seems like all reviews of compilation records mention how the format lends itself to being a dumping ground of throwaway tracks and unfocused additions to get a band or label’s name out there. Compilations succeed when they are focused around a singular idea and, typically, those that focus on a time and a place are the ones that are the most interesting and stable. This compilation focuses on a time—right now. The place, however, is a little tricky. The bands are from all over the U.S. and parts of Europe, but while their geography may make them distant in a literal sense, their goals and affinity for one another keep them close. These are DIY hardcore bands. Their sounds vary and their ideas are different, but their expression of those ideas within their community is what makes them important because that’s what draws them together. Not Normal is a label that has been putting out and distributing some of the most eager and confrontational punk records over the course of the last five years, and this record is less a culmination of their focus than it is a step in their move towards being one of the most important current hardcore labels. They are a not a hype fest, and the bands presented on this record show the label’s insouciance towards the status quo. Yes, well-known punks like Tenement make an appearance on this comp, but they follow the relatively unknown Inservibles. Cülo are followed by a very young, very un-hip band from the Pacific Northwest called Adjustment To Society, and Broken Prayer are sandwiched between Bored Straight and Thee Nodes. This album is not an attempt to move you to buy a record; this album is an attempt to move you to think for your god damn self.

 –Ian Wise (Not Normal)