Some have referred to Warped Tour as skate-punk summer camp, and after listening to SideOneDummy Records’ Warped Tour compilation CD, I can’t argue. There’s a little bit of everything on here, from the poppy to the political, but something about this CD makes me think Warped Tour may be growing up.
For one thing, several bands on this year’s tour are overtly political, and many others, such as NOFX, have recently become more active. Quite a few songs on this album are by bands represented on the Rock Against Bush CD, and a note of similarity runs through several of the songs, disparate as their styles may be.
Of course, there’s always Good Charlotte, with their cheerful lack of awareness of the things they’re ripping off (in this case, the song title My Bloody Valentine), to retain the sense of poppy good humor that keeps punk fundamentalists calling the Warped Tour sellout, but after all, what’s summer for but fun?
The 2004 Warped Tour Compilation features two discs with twenty-five songs each, so there’s plenty of bang for your buck, making it worth the less than $10 it’ll cost you to listen to a bunch of mostly pre-released tracks. You get an advance look at most of the bands that’ll be on this summer’s tour, and you might find something you’d like to listen to more, even if you’re too punk purist to actually attend the festivities. Of course, you might want to take my advice already and check out Canadian punk band Jersey, Boston mohawked rockers The Unseen, political crusaders Anti-Flag, or longtime favorites the Descendents, NOFX, and Pennywise. There are no surprises on this CD, but that’s not really the point. The point is to get you psyched up for the Warped Tour, and it does the job admirably.