Various Artists – Take Action! Volume 5
Hopeless/Sub City Records
The punk rock benefit compilation seems to be the new black. Record labels we’ve hardly heard of pop up out of the woodwork with an album full of artists you know to benefit a cause you probably support. This recent trend may have been brought to the forefront by Rock Against Bush in the summer of ’04, but many an album has come across my path in the time since then.
Take Action is on Volume 5 with two discs full of hardcore, punk rock, indie rock and whatever other nitpicky subgenre you can think of. The proceeds go to the Kristen Brooks Hope Center, a suicide help center that operates a nationwide hotline, 1-800-SUICIDE. This release will be supported by the Take Action tour, which is presented by Hot Topic (stop your eye-rolling now, please).
Like all records of its type, this album has good and bad songs, most of them previously released. They’ve done a fairly good job of grouping bands together by style, so you don’t jump straight from a jarring pits-of-hell hardcore song to a sweet acoustic ballad.
My taste led me to prefer the second disc, featuring my constant favorites Lucero and Against Me! (if you aren’t listening to these bands yet, what good are you, really?) as well as tracks by the Lost City Angels, Cursive, the Dropkick Murphys, and the Briefs.
Disc one has more screams and growls that might drive the unsuspecting listener to suicide rather than deter them from it, but if hardcore’s your thing, check out As I Lay Dying and Underoath. The anger is broken up a bit with songs from Panic! At the Disco and Boys Night Out, among others.
As always, you could do worse than dish out the cash for this compilation. Even if you hate most of the music on there, you still gave money to a good cause, right?