Various Artists - Seattle’s Best Punk: Punks and Pints Volume 3
Record Label: Silver Records
Release Date: June 10, 2008
Way back in prehistoric times before there was MySpace, people discovered their underground punk groups through mixtapes and nifty compilations such as the Punks and Pints series I’ve just recently stumbled upon. Since I didn’t even really know Seattle had a modern punk scene (but I knew they had rain, Courtney Love, and other ugly things), the album definitely succeeded in its mission, as I’ve already begun looking up a handful of these groups.
Volume 3 is 30 tracks long, and of those tracks about half of them are genuinely entertaining. The rest are direct ripoffs of popular punk tunes (such as Sister Hyde’s “Corporate Guru” which sounds exactly – I mean exactly – like “No Control” by Bad Religion) or clumsy takes on other genres (like Black Top Demons’ “The Haunted House”, which sounds like it really really wants to be a Billy Idol tune, but can’t.) Still, even these generic tunes pack the energy of some sloppy live set in some sloppy dive with some sloppy people you just met, and so all of it is part of the experience. You’ll never really need to hit the skip button.
Highlights include The Dead Vampires’ “Being Dead Never Felt So Good”, which strikes a weird balance between the Black Lips and the Misfits – in fact, this singer sounds like he is Glenn Danzig, and the band title and lyrics obviously back up that assumption as well. The Femurs’ “Crazy Girl” is crazy catchy, too; plus, they use the word “retarded” which should earn some kind of taboo points.
None of this stuff is going to change your life, but the comp definitely seems like a good advertisement for these groups’ live shows. Every tune on here sounds like it would light up an audience with fist pumping and lyric reciting ferocity. If you’d already seen any of these bands live, then the disc would be a little bit more entertaining, because these are all groups who probably pull off live better than studio.
Really, in a field as limited as DIY punk, you’re going to find similarities in things. That’s just all there is to it. Nobody ever listened to a Bob Marley compilation and complained about the same three chords repeating for an hour, and nobody ever criticized any blues legend for writing the same song in the same key for the entire duration of their career, and similarly nobody ought to pick on punk for its sometimes stagnant development. Because like those other genres, it’s the aesthetic, the feel, and the energy that make the hit or miss, and this is a comp that’ll keep you dancing for at least a little while.