Besides being for a good cause, and besides the wealth of unreleased or rare material, Because We Care: A Benefit for the Children's Hospital of Orange County might be worth purchasing just for its cover art, which depicts a vintage teddy bear wearing a pair of headphones, with a wrapped-up boo boo on his paw. Awwww. Fortunately, Because We Care backs up the bear with solid contributions from a host of SoCal bands. It's nothing special, but for fans of pop and ska-inflected punk, there's quite a bit here to like. Rufio turns in an unreleased acoustic take from their album Perhaps, I Suppose's "In My Eyes," there's a demo of Limbeck's "I Think It's Lame to Hold Your Breath," and a fun, very melodic version of "Doctor My Eyes," from Gameface. Elsewhere, there's some Weezerish rock (Ozma), energetic third wave ska revival (Suburban Legends), and Thrice's scruffy, emo-punkified run-through, "Eleanor Rigby," that must be heard to be believed. Buy this comp for the unreleased gems, because you care, or just buy it for the bear.
AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus