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June 15, 2024

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Various Artists: Punk Uprisings
Volume Two (Go Kart Records)

By: Alex Steininger

Documenting the current happenings in the East Coast punk scene, Punk Uprisings brings you thirty-nine tracks of punk from the well known to the up-and-coming. Featuring acts like The Bouncing Souls, Anti-Flag, The Bruisers, H20, Latex Generation, and Time Bomb 77 to name a few, this compilation brings you nearly seventy-four minutes of non-stop punk rock.

The Bouncing Souls kick off the CD with the "Punk Uprisings Theme Song." It's weird, that's all I can say. You need to check it out to believe it. But for the ten seconds of punk they do play, I must say it was great. Ann Beretta's "Shovel" really spun this compilation into orbit. This song takes melody and punk and blends them in one great package. The bass does a tremendous job, working with the drums nicely to form a great foundation. The guitar throws in some extra fast beats and a few hooks, along with the vocals that can yell and carry a semi-punk growl to them while still remaining clear and understandable, and the outcome is amazing. Definitely an up-and-coming band that will be making a name for themselves soon. Serving up some great street punk is none other than The Bruisers with "Intimidation '97." Very punk-ish vocals, growl and all, lead a heavy bass among other things. I mentioned the bass because it carries the song. It's a strong song and sounds great, but that is all due to the bass. The loud thump and kick brought on by the bass, and backed up nicely by the drums, makes you want to get up and just go crazy to the song. Bounce off walls, bounce off people, do whatever and have fun. H20 jumps from fast paced beats that will catch you off guard and knock you off your feet on "Universal Language." Sending a powerful rush through your bloodstream with their high-energy, full-on punk, they take a break in the middle of the song only to jump right back into the action and once again knock you on your ass. Kill Your Idols' "Words Without Actions" also brings a powerful punk attack to you. Loud and aggressive, the song has all the elements of punk rock that moves. Hard hitting drums, brutal bass, heavy guitars, and angry vocals make this a number that will stick with you. Also, half way through the song they stop for a bit, before slowly picking back up, leaving you to wonder if a new track has came on...all until they bust right back into the same minute attack of punk that you had just heard. Nine Lives gives the listener a break from all the hardcore-punk assaults and serves up "Paperboy," a pop-punk number that keeps the punk very hot, only calling on the pop to give the listener a little more incentive to listen. And it works. This song is another stand-out, forcing the listener (as well as me!) to want to check out a full-length from these guys. I'll definitely be digging up more information on these guys in the coming months, and after you hear this number you'll want to also. Time Flies ends the CD with another head blow of punk. Fast and aggressive, this song packs a lot of anger and power in one two minute bit.

If you've ever wondered what the East Coast was doing in terms of punk, compared to the West Coast's predominately pop-punk scenes, then check this compilation out and be amazed. The sunny beaches of California aren't all over New York, and it shows in the anger, madness, and aggression of these songs. Not to say one or the other is better, because they both have their ups and downs, but this compilation seems to be a great cross section of what the East has to offer. So check it out. I'll give it a B+.

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