Various Artists

Hopelessly Devoted to You, Vol. 6

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As with previous installments, Hopeless Records' sixth volume of their Hopelessly Devoted to You series is a fine sampler of bands from their roster (and sister label, Sub City) that includes album tracks alongside multiple unreleased and acoustic versions. This time around there's more to love, though, as the label took special care to make plenty of room for both new and old bands by dishing up two audio discs and an accompanying DVD of music videos. The first disc boasts most of the fresh blood. Pop-punk up-and-comer Amber Pacific presents two particularly delectable tracks; Ever We Fall offers sweet and shimmering indie pop (and a weird techno remix); Royden provides some post-hardcore aggression; Kaddisfly bring their own brand of eccentric funk-rock to the table. Various active label veterans also account for strong disc one showings, including the snotty, ska-infused styling of Against All Authority and an unreleased Thrice track. Disc number two is more of the fun history lesson, as the ghosts of Hopeless' musical past have all come out to play. With Guttermouth, 88 Fingers Louie, Mustard Plug, the Queers, Common Rider, Fifteen, Dillinger Four, and Samiam, to name a handful, there's a lot to like here. Material from early Avenged Sevenfold and Thrice efforts show up, alongside two helpings of the Weakerthans (the rousing "Aside" is especially tasty). A politically oriented and acoustic guitar-armed Mike Park also makes a notable appearance, while Atom & His Package proves his quirky skills were in place well before MC Lars first brought his laptop to the attention of the "iGeneration." Overall, the collection is a good introduction to the Hopeless of today and yesterday for interested punk revival parties and well worth picking up.

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