Various Artists

Victory Style, Vol. 5

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The fifth in a series of budget-priced label samplers featuring both new and previously released material from the indie punk label Victory, Victory Style, Vol. 5 offers pretty much what you'd expect: an assortment of bands playing in what might loosely be called a variety of styles, though only hardcore adepts will easily tell the difference between them. Snapcase shows a certain math rock influence on their "Are You Tuned In?," while Atreyu offers sludgy satan metal and Taking Back Sunday checks in with the strangely tuneful and really rather engaging "Ballad of Sal Villanueva." In the funny covers department there are Grade's crunchy rendition of "Ziggy Stardust" and Student Rick's endearingly metal-enriched version of Journey's schlock-rock classic "Any Way You Want It" (which incorporates a snippet of "Rock and Roll All Night" for extra irony). Those with a bottomless appetite for malevolent heaviosity will want to skip over such lighthearted fare in favor of Darkest Hour's "An Epitaph" and Hoods' "Days in Hades" ("I hope you all f----n' die!"). As usual, Strife is the class of the speedcore crew. Also as usual, there's a brief foray into skacore, courtesy of the Voodoo Glow Skulls. Recommended as a good introduction to one of America's better boutique labels.

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