Various Artists

Dirty Water, Vol. 2: More Birth of Punk Attitude

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The second installment in the excellent proto-punk series gathers a similar set of nuggets as the first, welding together a variety of influences (British and American, rock & roll and R&B, art-based or groove-based) and focusing on top-shelf talent as well as obscurities, no matter the licensing fees involved (which no doubt capped out with David Bowie, to say nothing of the Velvet Underground, Blondie, Captain Beefheart, Patti Smith, Mott the Hoople, MC5, Eddie Cochran, Parliament, and Big Star). It's not a tight listen, not that any influences-type compilation would or should be; it's a simple hodgepodge of great music that, all together, contributed to the music, attitude, and culture of punk rock. Clearly, compiler (and journalist and artist) Kris Needs is digging deeper into his archives, and his memory banks, than on the first volume, resulting in a set that will have something for everything. Aside from an obscure cast of '70s rock & roll inheritors from the U.K. (Stack Waddy, the Gorillas aka the Hammersmith Gorillas, along with the better-known Kilburn & the High Roads), there’s plenty of art rock insanity (John Otway & Wild Willy, Doctors of Madness, the United States of America, the Godz, Holy Modal Rounders). For those who've heard Big Star’s "In the Street" or Bowie’s “Suffragette City” a thousand times, check out snotty Detroit garage rockers the Unrelated Segments and the Tidal Waves, or "Black to Comm," an extended MC5 workout recorded live in 1970. By the end of the nearly 150 minutes, you're ready to forgive Needs for putting on a track from his own band, especially since the song, "Danger Love" by the Vice Creems, is not only a fair Clash pastiche but included involvement from the British punk legends.

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