Fat Wreck has fired up its activism arm once again. Protect: A Benefit for the National Association to Protect Children has a warmer, fuzzier goal than the Rock Against Bush comps of 2004, but it's no less urgent -- the set's notes describe how the U.S. lacks an effective support network for abused kids. To that end 26 bands from the Fat roster and elsewhere have contributed music, much of it unreleased. Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba kicks it off with the spare "Demons Away," Smoke or Fire's "Indecision" offers raucous punk revivalism, and Coalesce covers the Jesus Lizard's "Mouth Breather." Communiqué's "Carrie Anne" is an interesting mix of orchestration and bashing pop, like a less morose Afghan Whigs, while the Soviettes show their usual spunk on the LP III gem "Middle of the Night." There's also unreleased material from Against Me! (doing Dylan's "Wagon Wheel"), Jawbreaker (a live "Want" from 1993), Lagwagon's Joey Cape ("Minus"), and a pretty cool track from Cleveland's Lovekill ("Refrain of the A.M.") that's very Poster Children. Other contributors include MXPX, BARS, Teenage Bottlerocket, and the Falcon. Protect might be a little too long and sporadic, but that's alright. After all, they're doing it for the kids, man, the motherf.... Well, you get the idea. Support Protect: A Benefit for the National Association to Protect Children with a purchase, and get a pretty good rock compilation in return.
AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus