Hopelessly Devoted to You, Vol. 4

Various Artists

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Hopelessly Devoted to You, Vol. 4 Review

by Adam Bregman

The roster at Hopeless Records grows more impressive and varied with each sampler in this series, and Vol. 4 is probably the best yet. Several of the bands here are a bit heavier-sounding and more hardcore than on past Hopeless samplers. Against All Authority -- a generally average, political, ska-punk band -- has one of their best songs in the previously unreleased "Out a Luck." There's a groovy emo song from Samiam, "Look No Hang"; a catchy pop-punk tune from Digger, "The Ninja, the Pinto, the Dan Marino"; a very fun, spastic romp from Selby Tigers, "Cheerleading Is Big Business"; and a couple of unusual, karaoke-sounding numbers from Atom & His Package. Surprisingly, two of the lesser efforts are from a couple of acts featuring members of once pivotal bands from the celebrated East Bay punk scene. Jesse Michaels, the singer and songwriter behind Operation Ivy, has not lived up to his legacy with his less-than-thrilling Common Rider, represented here by the ho-hum "Small Pebble." Common Rider sounds like very watered-down Operation Ivy with practically all the inspiration drained from them. And Jeff Ott, who sang for the once-brilliant Crimpshrine, offers up the cornball, PC, acoustic tune "Who's Your Daddy," which is a rotten song whether one agrees with the sentiments of the lyrics or not. But these two misfires are exceptions amongst an entirely solid lineup of punk rock.

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