Various Artists

Give 'Em the Boot, Vol. 5

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Tim Armstrong's Hellcat label unleashes the fifth volume in this wildly popular compilation series that acts as a label sampler, a taster for new and forthcoming albums, as well as a showcase for smaller acts, and further endearing itself to fans by bundling in a bumper crop of previously unreleased tracks. From the get go Give 'Em the Boot, Vol. 5 has been a labor of musical love, and even if there are only 18 bands included this time around (the fourth volume stuffed in 26) quality makes up for quantity. Armstrong's own band Rancid kick off the proceedings, with bandmate Lars Frederiksen and his side project the Bastards appearing later in the set. As always, there's a clutch of well-chosen numbers from Hellcat stalwarts, including the Dropkick Murphys, the Slackers, and Tiger Army, with Orange unleashing a previously unreleased song. HorrorPops, Left Alone, Nekromantix, the Aggrolites, and Time Again offer up scintillating cuts from their new albums, and a whirlwind of styles as well, from the Banshees-go-hardcore of Horrorpops to the speedcore-billy of Nekromantix, and back in time for the funky '60s-labored the Aggrolites, to the modern punk sounds of Left Alone and the Rancid-esque Time Again. The unreleased tracks are just as diverse, encompassing the surfs-up sounds of los Difuntos, the trad Jamaican stylings of Westbound Train, the aptly monikered Heartbreakers inspired the Heart Attacks, and onto the slash and burn hardcore of Static Thought. As always, it's the eclecticism of the music that reflects the label's own, as well as Armstrong's own distinctive taste. And it's inevitably excellent at that, which is why the label and this notable series remains so highly esteemed.

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