I know with absolute certainty that I wrote this review, and with near certainty, that I submitted it to the Ink 19 honchos. Well, since I can’t seem to find a copy anywhere, here I go again, with, I’m sure, a little less gusto.
Before I continue with the review, however, I must say the first, nonexistent review was sheer brilliance, the best I’ve ever done, or you’ve ever read. But alas, we’ll just have to settle for this crap. Oh, and only some of that disdain is pointed towards the eighth installment of Epitaph’s Punk-O-Rama series.
V8 — oh how clever I am! — is a two disc extravaganza of punk, emo and hip-hop. Yes, hip-hop, as in rap, as in that shit we must live with on MTV. Before I discuss the merits of Epitaph’s token hip-hop, allow me to start from the beginning.
Disc One is comprised of mostly what we critics have labeled emo, as in emotional core or emotional hardcore, or…whatever. Let’s see — I’m checking the liner notes — we have Hot Water Music with their controlled vocal, sentimental lyrics and overabundance of melody on “Trusty Chords.” There is also Matchbook Romance’s “The Greatest Fall (Of All Time).” (Why bracket “of all time” with parenthesis? Don’t they know that that is so pretentious of them? Suppose not.)
Also on Disc One, the good ol’ boys at Epitaph have given us tunes by Division of Laura Lee, Ikara Colt and The (International) Noise Conspiracy to round out the “critics’ choice” of emo. We also get songs from some of the old timers. Rancid provides “Wicked,” a mediocre tune off …And Out Come The Wolves (Are they trying to sell their back-catalog? Whattaya think?), Bad Religion’s “Who We Are” rocks-out hard as always and F-Minus offers a little hardcore with “Sweating Blood.”
Now, on to Disc Two. I am mostly impressed by its “heaviness” as oppose to the first disc’s “sappiness.” See, they give us Pennywise, Turbonegro (how fuckin’ weird is this shit!), Pulley, Millencolin, US Bombs and two newer acts (for me anyway) that play with the skirt of metal, Death by Stereo and Refused.
And just as I was thinking, “You know, I think punk rock should experiment more,” I’m blasted with the Transplants’ “Quick Death,” a ditty mixing programmed drums with Sepultura metal intensity.
Well, that’s all for now. Oh, the hip-hop.
Naturally, I was a bit surprised to find Sage Francis’s “Makeshift Patriot” and Atmosphere’s “Bird Sings Why The Caged I Knows.” Sage Francis gives a socially conscious tune ala Dilated Peoples or De La Soul, while “Bird…” is a “semi-rap” tune that blends good melody with energetic lyrics.
All in all, V8 is a decent addition to the series. If you are new to these bands, and I doubt you are, I’d start with Disc Two and then look up the names on the other disc and search out the bands’ earlier work.
Epitaph Records: www.epitaph.com