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Various Artists – Punx Unite: Leaders of Today – Side One Dummy

Punx Unite

LA’s Side One Dummy label has a wonderful habit of putting out very large, very good compilations for not much money at all (they’re responsible for the ever popular Warped collections too) and with Punx Unite (co-released by New Jersey’s Charged Records) they’ve done it again. Thirty-two tracks, from strictly underground punk bands – the most well known here being The Casualties – put together with the strict purpose of giving those that keep things DIY a bit of attention. It’s a noble cause. And in all honesty, this is a consistently impressive collection if you’re fond of the kind of punk “punk rock” was built on. It slams along, as fun as it is aggressive, almost every track incendiary in its vehemence.

And somewhat surprisingly, it doesn’t get too repetitive.

The inlay – written by Jake, The Casualties’ guitarist, clearly in a fit of hyperbole – is a little too overwrought for its own good though.

“We are the leaders of today – the underground hardcore punk scene,” it begins. “The bands on this comp are just some of the bands that are working to keep punk [real punk] alive. Ignored by the music industry and hated by the mainstream. We are the relevant punk bands. The ones that started in basements and are still there. This is the kind of punk that CAN’T and ISN’T created by some executive at a major label. We’re in it for life. It’s up to you and us – the 1% that gives 100%. Get involved by starting a band, label, fanzine etc. Voice your opinions through actions and words – now!”

Calm down there fella! The major vs. indie argument hasn’t been that black and white for years! But hey, like I said, the music’s fantastic, the intentions are good and they’re multiple Mohawks on the inlay, which is nice.

If you’re contemplating any sort of physical outburst soon, buy this – it’ll really get you in the mood.


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