Various Artists


The punk compilation is a curious breed. They have the potential to be good, but for some reason or another usually end up completely trashy. Such is the case with Nitro Records’ latest compilation, Punkzilla. To demonstrate the ups (there are few) and downs (there are many), I have decided to review Punkzilla using a point-based system, with a total of 20 possible points.

Five points are lost right away for Nitro not being able to think up a more creative, less obvious title for the compilation. If Punkzilla was any more predictable, I would say that Ms. Cleo was working on the Nitro creative team. Minute credibility is regained, however, with the second track on the album, “Democracy?” by The Damned. The use of punctuation in the song title amuses me, and The Damned are simply an enjoyable band to begin with. I give Nitro back those five points for having this song on the compilation, plus two more points for including a second track by The Damned, “Lookin’ For Action.” Unfortunately, five points are lost once again for track six, “Jennifer Lost the War” by The Offspring. I don’t think it is possible for this song to be any worse. I didn’t like it when it was first released in 1989, and I don’t like it now in 2002.

Just when I thought Punkzilla couldn’t get any more “ear-shattering,” along came two tracks by T.S.O.L., a band whose idiocy exceeds their non-existent talent. For example, take the chorus from “Wasted”: “When we go/we’re wasted/when we go we are.” Oh my god, that is like the best lyric ever! In fact, it is so good, that it costs Punkzilla nine points!

All sarcasm aside, there are a few highlights to the compilation, including “Wester” by A.F.I, “Misunderstanding Maybe” by Divit, “Behind The Music” by the ever-amusing Vandals, and “Michael” by Son Of Sam. I consider myself a charitable person, therefore I will “donate” six final points to Nitro. This leaves Punkzilla with a whopping total of minus one out of a possible 20!

But wait, there’s more! As if the 20 tracks weren’t enough to delight your ears, the compilation is also an enhanced CD featuring music videos by A.F.I and Bodyjar, plus a link to the “exclusive” Punkzilla Web site. After being deluded by the sonic elements of the album, however, I decided to pass on this oh-so-tempting offer. Likewise, I advise that you pass on buying Punkzilla and go waste your money elsewhere.

Nitro Records: http://www.nitrorecords.com

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