VARIOUS ARTISTS: Turn It Around: The Story of East Bay Punk: 2 x LP

Nov 26, 2018

You know, before listening to this comp, I’d have thought the soundtrack would just basically be The Thing that Ate Floyd meets Life in the Fat Lane with a bit of Not So Quiet on the Western Front. But much like the accompanying documentary, I was pleasantly surprised. It’s pretty rare that someone takes a microscope to a subculture you’re involved in and gets it right. They can’t all be The Decline of Western Civilization. I pre-ordered the DVD and double LP as soon as I was able to and I have to say I was not at all disappointed. A little shocked to see Sammytown and Fang involved in the project, but is it really an East Bay doc without them? I can appreciate their dedication to tell a full story. The soundtrack is quite literally a reflection of the film. These are the whole version of songs that only got a snippet in the movie. It doesn’t just zero in on Gilman bands or MRR bands. They start out in the early ’70s and lay down roots for the East Bay like The Tubes, Psycotic Pineapple, and Crime before focusing on Crimpshrine, Tilt, and MDC. I love this comp because it doesn’t pretend that East Bay punk only existed in one time or one place. It’s a quick history lesson of a scene of bands who were very much aware of each other. I also really appreciate that many of the songs are specific to the area: “Condition Oakland,” “Berkeley Is My Baby,” “The List,” “At Gilman Street.” Finally someone took the care to do it with punks in mind. –Kayla Greet (1-2-3-4 Go!)