Punk Rocker

Punk Rocker

Various Artists

Initial

This 25-cut comp, clever graphics aside (the CD cover makes it look like a game software package), is pretty average. Of course, there are some big names, Boy Sets Fire, Dillinger Escape Plan, Hot Water Music, and The Jazz June among them. But basically this CD shows how far estranged “punk” and “rock” have become.

With the notable exception of the HWM cut, most of this CD can be divided up into two camps: those trying too hard to be hard, with the result being ludicrous “Cookie Monster” vocals that I find virtually unlistenable, and those trying too hard to be “thoughtful and sincere,” mainly those in the new pop-emo school that owes much more to indie pop than it does to punk. I’m none too fond of this latter sub-subgenre, either, but at least it’s listenable, if a bit too studied and wimpy for my tastes.

Hmm, my delete-o-meter has about 50% of this thing on “skip.” Those of you who like both ends of the new school punk spectrum (actually, the hard stuff here doesn’t really qualify as hardcore, however ridiculous the vocals) might like this, but otherwise you’re probably going to be disappointed with a goodly portion of this one.

Initial Records, PO Box 17131, Louisville, KY 40217; http://www.initialrecords.com

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