Various Artists

How We Rock

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How We Rock is a collection of punk rock from the turn of the century that puts a heavy emphasis on bands distributed by Epitaph. This is no surprise considering they are the parent company behind the release of the album, but the bias does tend to affect the overall sound. So many of these bands have the same sort of trashy garage aesthetic and high-energy approach that even great bands like the Hives and the New Bomb Turks are lost among the 19 songs. The songs that do stick out do so because they have one element that sets them apart from the rest of the collection. For example, "Need to Get Some" by the Division of Laura Lee is a spunky and rollicking rock track that offers a variation on the classic New York punk sound; thus, it sticks out much farther than the Hellacopters' "Truckoads of Nothin'." Other songs that stick out include the Donnas' new wave sex anthem "40 Boys in 40 Nights," Sahara Hotnights' .45 Grave-esque "Alright Alright," and Turbonegro's rock epic opener "Age of Pamparius." The rest of the tracks, aside from these songs, amount to ramshackle rock songs in the vein of the Strokes, or the usual Epitaph punk-pop, both of which offer some appealing songs that still don't stand out as being exceptional. Still, as a collection, this is a decent album that does suffer from sounding the same in spots, but has enough good tracks to make up for those sorts of problems.

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