The words "punk rock" and "compilation" do not sit well beside each other in my vocabulary. Strangely, though, if you add the words "all proceeds go to charity", I find it a surprisingly charming proposition.
'Liberation: Songs To Benefit PETA' is a mix and mash of punk rock and post-hardcore, with all profits from the release going towards **People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals*, a worthy cause if ever there was one. *Hot Water Music** kick start proceedings with a fiery 'Remedy', a trashy, fractured punk rock shout-a-long, followed by Good Riddance, seemingly showing us that they are actually HWM's adopted sons, with a fast-paced take on any of their peers' best choons. Being a punk rock compilation, though, means forgettable moments are a prerequisite; The Eyeliner's predictable female-fronted Lagwagon impression leaves plenty to be desired, and ** Midtown**'s sentimental acoustic pants could probably give 'Warning'-era Green Day a run for their money. Which is rather unfortunate. And, hold on, is that A's Jason Perry? Oh, it's just another one of those technical hardcore punk bands, District 7.
There are truly special moments here too, with The Faint throwing a spanner in the system with their fucked-up punk impressions of Hot Hot Heat. Story Of The Year's 'And The Hero Will Drown' has every sign of them being the next big post-hardcore thang, with impassioned yelps of anger crunching against anthemic melody, raising =eMo= fists everywhere. No doubt they'll be huge, not least since they've recently signed a major label deal, and The Used's eerie 'Just A Little' means Bert McCracken's whine can, at least, be forgiven.
One of the highlights, oddly enough, comes from (_goodbye, my dear credibility!) Good Charlotte's acoustic 'Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous', which proves it's worth as a _really good tune. Perhaps those poor, spikey-haired munchkins have been treated too harshly thus far. Maybe they do have hearts, beneath the mall-punk exterior.....
So, is it worth giving your money to charidee for? Yes. The good moments far outweigh the bad; real punk rock spirit is in abundance, and it's far more edgy and lyrically strong than most Fat Wreck offerings. Job's a good 'un.
7Stu Chown's Score