V/A - You Gotta Start Somewhere CD (Pekka Productions)
21 tracks from 21 Finnish bands. 13 of the songs were previously unreleased.
The CD opens with the rock goes skate pop sounds of ANAL THUNDER. It's not very good. Next band, BACK AGAINST THE WALL, is a lot better. Standard but catchy up tempo punk. Then it's COMMON VOICE going ''oi oi punks / oi oi skins / stay together / never give in'', on top of some mid tempo oi punk.
DEAD BY GUN is your average RANCID clone with piano. DEVIAKS are pretty much the same except a lot faster with some metal influences. FLIPPIN' BEANS is slow lounge music type ska pop. HASTA LA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB play fast action rock that's ok in small doses. HEARTBREAK STEREO is americanized rock.
HORNY BOY'S is action rock with old school hardcore vocals. ''Fuck her while she's thin / while her tits are still firm'' made me laugh anyway. Sounds just a little like ROLLINS era BLACK FLAG. This is followed by KYRE & DUUNARIT doing mid tempo action rock with Finnish vocals. LUCKY BASTARDS is skate punk mixed with action rock and too many whoa-whoo's. The guitar leads has a good early SOCIAL DISTORTION feel to them, I'll give them that.
REJECTED is probably influenced by RANCID and DROPKICK MURPHY but the band is just not together enough to be catchy at all, no matter how many times they shout ''street punk rock'n'roll for me and you''. SICKENING DISPLAY is more US 90's stuff with more whoa-whoo's. DRIVEN DYNAMO is a bit of everything pop and/or rock without being especially interersting. HEARTBURNS is somewhere between RAMONES pop clones and early QUEERS, but nowhere near as punk.
HOIST would heve been pretty good up tempo punk if it wasn't for the backing vocals and the sloppy playing. I can't think of anything to say about LAYBACKS, except it's mid tempo and they sound like an 80's band who wants to be a 70's band. Next track is the best song here; Frankenstein with PATSY WALKERS. It's mid tempo semi punk rock with good female vocals. Not bad at all, it grows on you and it sticks out on this male dominated compilation. Think Dangerhouse, What and early Frontier releases. Then we get WASTED who does skate rock with sentimental vocals.
WATSONS is the other of only two band with female vocals; they do up tempo 1977 stuff with loads of ''fuck you motherfucker'' and there's nothing really wrong with that. VICEROY sounds like BAD RELIGION on a bad day, and they end this so-so compilation.
Some of this is pretty good, most of it isn't. If I'll find the time I'll check one or two bands out.
V/A - Hometown Pride Promo CD (Pekka Productions)
This one has 9 bands from Lahti, Finland on it. Most bands do 2 songs. They were all recorded in 2006, so it should be a good indication of what's going on in their local scene. Which is very metal influenced.
First up is MORNING AFTER and some generic but well played metal crust. Then it's END BEGINS with more metal. Again, the band can play but that's it. PEKKA & THE OTHER LOSERS is basic rock played with metal guitars and semi-growling vocals. The song Identity could have been pretty good if it wasn't for the end bit.
Next band is VICEROY with a rather unappealing mix of metal drumming and harmony singing. Fast paced with melodic guitar parts, you know the drill. Also see review above. This is followed by 7TH LEGION who plays tight 90's SXE metal and PITFIEND wich is just fast 90's metal with mosh parts and more growling.
Both the two next bands - CAMORRA and ST.HOOD - is more of the same with a touch of neo-metal. The CD ends with a track by FLIPPIN' BEANS wich is sort of metal free but instead full of modern pop ska clichés.
If you're into new metal crust you'll maybe enjoy parts of this. All bands can play their instruments fairly well, but nothing felt very urgent or sounded especially catchy to me. They all sing in English by the way. If you're into old Finnish hardcore or any punk rock this should be avoided.
V/A - PUNK & OSFUG (Playwood Productions)
This is Vol. 1 in a forthcoming series of compilation CDs, featuring 18 bands from the Örebro area of Sweden. As much as I want to support small Swedish labels I have to say this isn't good at all.
THE BENEFITS OF has a mainstream chart punk sound and don't interest me at all. THE PRICKS are a lot better without being great. They have a simple almost early hardcore feel to their punk and they're the best of the bunch. FRENZY FOUR could have been an ok street punk act if it wasn't for the singer trying so hard to sing deeper than he can. The lyrics weren't my cup of tea either. UNIFORM do fast action rock without sounding very energetic.
DOWN AND AWAY are just another carbon copy RANCID act and SUBWASTE is more MTV punk, but with decent vocals and the odd QUEERS guitar riff. WITHOUT A TRACE is the same but with 90's metal hardcore influences instead. OND BRÅD DÖD is fast hardcore with the generic and always annoying growling instead of vocals. DEAD REPRISE is metal hardcore with some crust and neo-crust parts.
THE ADVISORS is a bit of hardcore and a bit of action rock that's not awful but again very generic. Then it's RULLATOR doing a ''dirty'' song with various instruments going in and out of the mix. Turning your band into a joke is a joke worn very thin. FAILED ABORTIONS sounds like they were very nervous when they recorded this simple 3-chord mid-tempo song. If they had shown a bit more punk bravado this would be were I'd mentioned GG ALLIN and THE RAMONES. APEGRAPE probably likes BAD RELIGION and PROPAGHANDI as well as all modern semi-emo stuff from the US. They sound sort of preachy instead of angry anyway.
SIGGE ZUGA GRUPPE does fake german accents on top of a fairly decent post-punk song, which would have been better if they hadn't tried so hard to be weird. ALL ORANGE is more MTV rock with lots of breaks and slow parts. STÅLSBY is basic rock with too much pop ambitions and not enough pop sense. ALL STEEL COACHES does a throw away 12-bar rock song about ''space sluts cowboys''. There's the dubious ''bonus'' of an accoustic track from FRENZY FOUR with lyrics about ''your mama's thies'' if you think that's funny.
If you lived in Örebro and knew the guys in the bands maybe you would enjoy the odd one on stage, but none of it means anything to me. A lot of the bands have the same members.
The best part of this CD is the packaging, with a 12-page booklet complete with a Never Mind The Bollocks styled pink, yellow and black back page. The SEX PISTOLS and CBGB references on the cover, and the general DIY thing is all that's punk about it. This collection does not include one single female. Not a girl in sight. Like a Taliban party.