Various Artists – Take Action! Volume 5

Various Artists
Take Action! Volume 5

The Take Action! Volume 5 compilation is a double-disc collection of bands most people should be familiar with. The material is found mostly in the Warped Tour realm, covering the whole screamo pack to the punk-rock side of things. The included demo, acoustic, and unreleased tracks amount to only six out of the 45 total songs. Odds are you won’t require owning this compilation because it brings nothing new to your ears.

Rather than bash the music on here that I don’t listen to, here are some highlights. Underoath’s “I Don’t Feel Very Receptive Today” is the angriest song on the band’s new CD, I’m a little surprised that was chosen over more popular songs. Someone should have edited out the sampling at the end which is meant to lead into the next Underoath song. An Saosin demo called “Sleepers” is a racing emocore track that’s previously unreleased. I’m definitely impressed by Cove’s consistent voice, and it’s the best new song I’ve heard from the band yet. It reminds me of the EP’s heartfelt rock-out attitude instead of the studio sheen of “Bury Your Head.” Although a lot of people have dismissed the new Boys Night Out effort, I think it’s catchy as hell. “Medicating,” the clap-happy single off of Trainwreck, is included on here. Armor for Sleep has a spot on here also, with “The Truth About Heaven” from What to Do When You are Dead. The riffs slide with graceful form, and the chorus is one of Armor’s most epic. Probably the only surprise on this side is Horse the Band with “Birdo.” The staple vocal spasms and keyboard touches occur, but the best part is the wacky breakdown at the end.

The latter half has Strike Anywhere and A Wilhelm Scream tracks early on, which suggests the punk-rock focus. Philly’s The Loved Ones have “100K” on here, but I wasn’t sold on that EP the guys put out. I Am the Avalanche (ex-The Movielife singer) makes a rallying pop-rock appearance on “Dead and Gone.” This compilation was my first exposure to that band, and I think fans of the late Movielife material would enjoy. The most surprising addition is Solea, a band that’s under the radar and not very active lately. Comprised of Samiam members and Texas is the Reason’s singer, Solea comes off as midwestern emo-rock meets Brit-pop. “Leaving Today” is an alright song, but there are easily better representations of Solea’s talent on the full-length.

There are plenty of worse compilations (aka Now That’s What I Call Music), but still, I wouldn’t buy this. The fact that it contains stinkers like Hawthorne Heights and Amber Pacific is why. I do respect that these folks went with a different musical direction on each half, and I do enjoy a handful of the songs on both of them.