VARIOUS ARTISTS: Shut the Fuck Up & Listen!!! Vol. 7: 7”

Aug 02, 2017

Pardon the momentary existentialist detour, but gazing upon this PIG Records release, one question keeps asserting itself: what is the purpose of a compilation? Back in the day, comps had distinct functions: they were either pu-pu platters for indecisive record buyers, opportunities for smaller local bands to gain exposure, or special mixtapes made for fans by professionals. But with the current ubiquity of online streams, social media, and Spotify playlists, have comps become obsolete? If Shut the Fuck Up & Listen!!! Vol. 7 is any indication, the answer is no, but the target audience may have changed. While the tracks are fine—Alcojuana’s previously unreleased “Growing Pains” is fast and snarky; Potbelly’s “United Underground” is frenetic and furious; The Freeze’s unreleased live offering, “Explanation Day,” is raw and catchy; and D.O.A. are fucking D.O.A., ferchrissakes—the accompanying packaging makes adding this 7” to your collection feel like putting someone else’s family portrait in your personal photo album. Down to the details, this comp appears to have been made for the people who made it, not for us randoms. The most telling example is the eyeball-molesting graphic design, which somehow warranted a 300-word backstory on the album’s insert—rife with praise for both the art and the man who created it—written by PIG head-honcho, David Ulysses Portnow. The team at PIG clearly went out of their way to make sure we recognize that this comp is their baby… and we all know calling someone’s baby “ugly” is a giant dick move. So, reviewers like myself are left with the less nuclear—but also less honest—option: “You must be so proud.” –Kelley O’Death (PIG, / Little Mafia, / 1332, / Whidbey Island Pyrate Punx Local 44)