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July 23, 2024

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VARIOUS ARTISTS: Where's The Beef?
A Punk, Ska, Pop, & Emo Comp. (Drive Thru Records)

By: Alex Steininger

WHERE'S THE BEEF? is a compilation that certainly delivers the 'beef.' Covering such genre's as punk, ska, pop, and emo you're bound to find one (or more) bands that you will really enjoy! Twenty four tracks in all, more than half of them are previously unreleased.

Riverfenix's "Minimum Wage" kicks off the compilation. A blast of punk, and splashes of pop hooks make this a great number to kick off the CD. Very melodic, yet still enough anger to drive the energy level through the roof, this song will have you singing along within a minute. Less Than Jake's grand condition of covering tunes, metal tunes from the 80's specifically, continues with their cover of "We're Not Gonna Take It." Starting off with some light percussion work, the guitar soon buzzes in before the drums start to get harder and heavier. Than the whole band busts into a rapid punk number with a hooky chorus. No horns, no ska, they keep everything simple and fast with just bass, drums, and a guitar. Taking a break from punk, Eve's Plum brings some pop your way with "Lost In Space." Led by female vocals, the song has a lot of muscle to it. The drums help keep the rhythm section strong, always beating down with power, while the female vocals go from soft singing to gentle screams to help drive home what they're singing. The song is full of hooks, and will get you jumping and down in no time. The Hippos serve up yet another face to this compilation with their pop-ska-punk number "Far Behind." A lot of bounce mixed in with some punk guitar and lots of hooks, this number contains it all. The horns help to strengthen the ska side of the band, while the vocals lean heavily towards a smoother, more pop side. The guitar defines the punk influence of the band, and together the outcome is a nice number that will get you smiling and jumping off the walls. My Superhero's "Going Somewhere" is one of the finest tracks on the CD. Bouncy pop-ska, this number provides more upbeat than the previous track, giving you more to feed off of and dance with. The pop side will get you jumping up and down, while the whole addictiveness of the song will get you singing along. Don't turn your back on this number, as it will possess you and take total control over you. Ska-punk-pop golden boys Goldfinger contribute a previously unreleased track to this CD in tribute of their drummer, "Darrin's Song." Dropping any signs of ska, they focus on their infectious pop-punk to get your attention. Fast paced and very catchy, you can't help but want to shake your body with the music. Taking a more serious approach to their contribution, the Broadways share their political views with hard-edged punk, complete with rough vocals and everything on "Fuck The Church." Heavy on the bass, a guitar that is so fierce it's scary, and hard hitting drums these guys give you plenty to think about. Finishing off the compilation is The Space Twins' "Goddess of Love." A slow and soft pop number, they turn up the amps during the chorus and crank out some power pop before jumping back to the slow and soft pop.

I particularly don't like compilations with many genres on the same disc, but this compilation pulls together some of my favorite genres and serves us up a lot of very talented bands. Being an indie-rock and pop fan, I liked how the compilation jumped from a pop band to a punk band, and then went to a ska band. This kind of cycling allowed the compilation to keep everything interesting so the listener never gets tired of hearing a bunch of different bands playing the same type of music. I'll give this compilation a B+.

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