There’s not much that has to be said about this compilation as far as back story goes. It’s pretty self explanatory. Twenty-six bands that were or are playing the Warped Tour this summer at various times. You know what these bands are going to sound like: punk, in its various incarnations. What makes this compilation special is that most of these songs are unreleased. That’s right – a tour compilation with mostly unreleased songs, making it more than a “remember that time” sort of album. Thus, all you punksters probably want to get this, because there’s some real kick-ass punk here.
I appreciate the unreleased tracks mostly, although I confess to not having albums from most of these bands anyway. Still, it’s the lesser-known or new acts who dominate this release. New Found Glory’s poppy/emo punk song “So Many Ways” is one of the highlights, as is Midtown’s emo/punk and complex “Get it Together.” Bigwig’s “Sink or Swim” is fast-paced, hardcore, growling punk-rock, which I can barely stand. Tsunami Bomb’s “Take the Reins” spice things up with female vocals and kick-ass guitar rock, and the Ataris do a mostly acoustic song that’s a nice break.
The pretty much middle of the road, typical punk-rock, never a favorite of mine, dominates the disc. And while the bands here are good, I find these songs all sound the same to me. Anti-Flag has a pretty typical yet catchy unreleased track called “Zapatista, Don’t Give Up,” and AFI’s “A Winter’s Tale” is pretty kick-ass with bits of an At the Drive-In aggression. H2O disappoint me with the rough “Unwind,” and Kill Your Idols’ “Hippie Song” is just loud and annoying. “Chaos” by Deviates is more of that up-tempo, same beat punk that you’ve heard a million times, and Agent 51 do more of the same on “Radiation Nation.”
If you like the more well-known acts, Rancid has an angry-sounding song that wasn’t released in the US, and The Vandals’ “S.W.M.” is more laid-back and catchy, almost with an 80’s rock feel. Flogging Molly do their unique brand of Irish punk with “Rebels of the Sacred Heart,” and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones turn out another ska-infused punk number, “Providence Is…” No Use for a Name do a pretty crappy cover of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence.” The Living End do their best Bad Religion impression with “Sleep On It,” and Buck-O-Nine’s “Something to Find” is just terrible.
So, nothing you wouldn’t expect here, except for songs you may not have heard before. Punk fans will want to go out and get this for the vast array of artists and opportunities to get songs you may not have heard before. This one will keep you rocking for the rest of the summer and maybe till the next Warped Tour.