Various Artists

Punk-O-Rama, Vol. 10

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Vol. 10 of this reliable, economical compilation from Epitaph Records features a mixture of album tracks and previously unreleased material, as well as a bonus DVD. Motion City Soundtrack kicks things off with "When 'You're' Around," one of the best songs off their 2005 LP Commit This to Memory. "Shoot Me in the Smile" is a one-off from the Matches, one of Epitaph's more promising young groups; the cut's jerking rhythms, falsetto turns, and spastic guitars keep you guessing longer than, say, the pristine emo of Matchbook Romance. Epitaph has moved aggressively into its third decade with an increasingly diversified roster, and this edition of Punk-O-Rama reflects that shift. Whip-smart MC Sage Francis ("Sun vs. Moon"), wide-eyed Australian indie poppers Youth Group ("Shadowland"), and soulful hip-hop from the Coup ("Laugh/Love/F***") all offer fans more than the label's steady diet of punk revivalism, emo fatalism, and the Offspring. Of course, the Offspring are here if you want them (1992's previously unreleased "Mission from God"), and Bad Religion, Dropkick Murphys, and NOFX ("No Fun in Fundamentalism") are along to provide the veteran punk guidance. In between there's atmospheric psychobilly from Tiger Army, a live version of Bouncing Souls' "Anchors Aweigh," and a minute-long thumbscrew from noize supergroup Some Girls called "I Need Drugs." Special Goodness (the indie rock-ish "Not the Way") is the side project of Weezer drummer Pat Wilson, while "Mince Meat" offers a taste of Dangerdoom, the in-the-works cartoon-hop collaboration between MF Doom and Danger Mouse. "Just to clear the air like the Ionic Breeze Quadra!" Relative to imagination like this, some of Punk-O-Rama, Vol. 10's more conventional material falters. But the set is still a solid representation of Epitaph, circa summer 2005, and its price point can't be beat.

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