Give ’em the Boot IV

Give ’em the Boot IV

Give ’em the Boot IV

Various Artists

Hellcat Records

I’ve never figured out the connection between heavy metal, punk and Olde English lettering, but Hellcat Records loves that type font. Ignoring that, this is a thorough compilation of today’s skate music; and even if you can’t read the label, you can dig the music. Hellcat spits out a steady stream of thrash punk, speed metal and ska, and with such a varied selection, you’ll find something to love and something to hate no matter what your tastes are. Some of these songs are “unreleased,” so I guess that means this is the only place to get them. In that category you’ll find The Nekromantix’s zippy “Dead Bodies” and the psychobilly anthem “Dia De Los Muertos” by Rejurex. Hey, you can rock out in Spanish, and you don’t even need big hats and serapes. Another fun song comes from the Horror Pops, with lead singer Patricia belting out “Where They Wander — I’ve always loved female leads in punk bands; they sound like they’re faking an orgasm onstage.

Joe Strummer makes an unexpected appearance with The Mescaleros, offering a live version of “Junco Partner,” a song that nearly sounds country. The other big name on GETB4 rolls up early, as the Dropkick Murphys tootle out “I’m Shipping Out to Boston” (a Woody Guthrie song). It’s true enough: you can call just about anything punk these days if you distort the guitars and speed things up to 78. Are we ready for the punk power ballad? Not quite, but a few reggae tunes keep this from being a non-stop thrash disc. “Dirty Reggae” and “Let There Be Peace” by The Aggrolites and Chris Murray (respectively) are part of the tempering here. Is any of this punk in a strict, Jello Biafra approved definition? Maybe not, but it IS what people are recording today, and it’s strong enough to annoy the heck out of any respectable SUV-driving soccer mom. And isn’t that REALLY what rock and roll is all about?

Hellcat Records: www.hell-cat.com

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