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February 25, 2024

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Cinema Beer Nuts
The Original Punk Rock Taste (Hopeless Records)

By: Alex Steininger

What does punk rock taste like? Thanks to Hopeless Records we may now know. Introducing "Cinema Beer Nuts", a compilation containing some of the hottest punk bands in the scene today. Nineteen bands, one CD, and a salty taste sure to sting you if you don't pay attention.

The Vandals kick it off with "It's A Fact". Clean vocals that are easily understood, but still maintain a snootiness common to punk. The drums beat down in a melodic way, keep everything bright and powerful. The guitar screams through some parts, and walks through with melody in others. The bass slaps its way through the song as well, giving the song some meat to chew on. Mustard Plug bring their ska-punk mayhem with "You". The beginning will get you up out of your chair, and turning your living room into a dance floor. The guitar is infectious, almost impossible to resist. The chorus slaps you on the back of the neck, and makes you listen. Powerful punk chords, hard hammering drums, and an intense bass line mix well with some blaring horns sure to make you feel the energy in the rooms. The vocals are clean and clever, making you feel what they say, as well as make you sing along with them. Another ska-punk band, Less Than Jake, contribute a live version of "Automatic". You've heard the song, but this time you'll hear it as it was meant to be. More energy, meatier drums, and blaring horns drive this song straight to the heart. Queers come on with "Don't Back Down" and follow their own advice. Their Beach Boys meet punk combination is something any surfer or beach dweller would cherish, along with any mosh pit fanatic. Hi-Standard bring "Fighting Fists" to the party. The pop-punk medley go great with the foreign vocals from overseas. The hooks are there to drag you in, and the drums are there to add fuel to the fire. You'll be jumping around, slamming into things while listening to this track. Voodoo Glow Skulls prove they aren't "Bulletproof" with this mexi-punk track with ska tints. The music is noise, and the vocals are nauseating. Assorted Jelly Beans show you how to have a good time and rock with "No Time". Sounding like a younger Operation Ivy (is that possible?), the driving guitar throws in skanking beats to make you dance, before throwing you on the ground and making you cry with their intense punk assault. But they do pick you up and let you have more fun with enjoyable dancing melodies courtesy of the distorted upbeat. Goober Patrol's "Biggest Joke" brings in some ska-punk of their own. The song is poorly recorded, and heavily weighed down by vocals. Maybe putting the vocals lower in the mix, but still making them a force, would have been nicer. Link 80's "Verbal Kint" is an album stand out. Strong horn lines, intelligent lyrics, and a blend of ska-punk sure to please the gods of ska-punk, Operation Ivy. Treat yourself to something nice, and hear this song! Millencolin's "Lozin' Must" closes out the CD with a BANG! Their intense assault of punk beats and teen angst lyrics are a must for any punk rocker out there.

Now that you know what punk rock tastes like, try some! Pick up this CD, and make yourself happy. I'll give this CD a B+. It's got some great songs on it, and some horrible songs. Taste test the market before diving in, and this is a great way to start!

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