Various Artists - Take Action! Vol. 10
Record Label: Hopeless/Sub City
Release Date: April 26, 2011
Compilations don't usually warrant reviews on this website, but consider this review to be more of an awareness-raising piece than anything else. The Take Action! Vol. 10 compilation represents much more than a collection of over 30 b-sides, covers and unreleased tracks; it represents the 10th anniversary of a special commitment made by the folks over at Hopeless and Sub City Records. For 10 years now, Sub City (which is a Hopeless imprint with a mission of raising funds for charity) has put on the Take Action! tour and paired it with the compilation. A percentage of profits from both the tour and CD sales are given to charity, and over the last decade Sub City has raised over 2 million dollars for a variety of organizations.
Now, onto the actual music. Aside from supporting an excellent cause, Take Action! Vol. 10 is well worth the $5 it is being sold for. It's highlighted by its rare and unreleased tracks, specifically a couple extremely entertaining cover songs.
Disc Two of the release sees All Time Low performing an acoustic cover of Lady Gaga's "Alejandro" and The Wonder Years giving fans an acoustic cover of The Weakerthans' "Aside." The All Time Low cover is playful and catchy, something I've played on repeat quite a few times. Alex Gaskarth is really one of the only vocalists in the scene with the pipes to attempt a cover of Gaga and the track turned out well. The Wonder Years' cover is of an adored song in some circles, and the band's admiration of The Weakerthans has been noted in frontman Dan "Soupy" Campbell's lyricism. It's perhaps the most worthwhile song on either disc.
The first disc starts off strongly - after a public service announcement by Silverstein's Shane Told, listeners get a nifty track from Told's group featuring Ryan Key of Yellowcard. "Stay Posi" lends to the conclusion that Silverstein should team up with pop punk singers more often. "Texas Mickey," from the band's latest full-length, Rescue, features an awesome cameo by Bayside's Anthony Raneri, and both of these collaborations work magnificently. Bayside has their own previously unreleased track on this compilation, a number called "Battle Scars" that seems like it would have held its own on their latest release, Killing Time.
I won't say that every song is fantastic, but the compilation is well worth the $5. If donating that amount to a good cause isn't enough, you also get a collection of cool songs that you wouldn't have been able to hear otherwise. Take some action of your own and support it today.
Note: A real score of this compilation is impossible to comprise, so I gave everything a 10. Please don't whine about that.