Various Artists, “Are You With the Band?” LP

cover-are-you-with-the-bandI rather wish the new compilation from Paper + Plastick, Are You With the Band?, featured more bands that were still in existence. The Measure [sa], PS Eliot, and Cheeky are all broken up, but we’ve got the Worriers, Bananas, and Big Eyes touring and putting out records. Why not feature them, rather than introduce listeners to bands that are no longer?

That being said, this is still a wonderful compilation. The booklet inside is like someone expanded a CD booklet to LP size. The illustrations are reproduced beautifully, and Lauren Denitzio did a superlative job curating the compilation. The cuts – while unfortunately non-contemporary – do a wonderful job of displaying the many facets of pop-punk and the women who thrive within the genre.

The opening chords of Aye Nako’s “Bent Out of Shape” blast through in under a minute, setting the tone, while Black Rainbow knocks out some snotty, razor-throated rock ‘n’ roll. Then, there’s the shambling, dirty tones of Shellshag and the quietly somber take Full of Fancy does on Neil Young’s “The Needle and the Damage Done.” It’s a quality comp, and I keep going back to it, and I think I might have to take a run through some distros to pick up some of these artists.

Strangely enough, my LP didn’t come with center labels. It’s just a swathe of marble vinyl. Weird.

You can read my interview with Denitzio over at the Wayward Blog.