Various Artists

Punk Rock Is Your Friend, Vol. 4

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The budget-priced compilation has been staple in punk rock label land almost since the genre was born. It's a great medium to get unreleased or hard-to-find material from veterans into fans' hands, while at the same time promoting the greenhorns just coming up from single A ball. Vol. 4 of Kung Fu's Punk Rock Is Your Friend series adheres to this formula, offering unreleased material from the Vandals, as well as a glut of promising grooves from tenderfoots like Audio Karate (the high school lovin' anthem "Rosemead," featuring the classic line "Daydreams of you and I/Wrote your name on my folder a 1,000 times"). But like its roster of boisterous punk revivalists, who bop freely between the old-school sounds of the Buzzcocks, the late-'80s Cali scene (NOFX, Green Day), and the 21st century populist "punk" of blink-182 and the like, Kung Fu has retooled the existing format of the punk comp to include wacky graphics and a full plate of video content to complement its 17 audio selections. Clips from Alkaline Trio, Ozma, and others stream alongside the unreleased songs -- the God Awfuls' Clash-flavored "Disconnected Youth," Antifreeze's "Question" -- and giddy nuggets from Tsunami Bomb and the label's recent breakout stars the Ataris. Tsunami Bomb's "Say It if You Mean It" is a standout -- Agent M's vocals flirt with the line between pugnacious and passionate, while the band makes the old Bay Area chugga chugga rock anew. mi6 wins the Fat Mike Wacky Lyrics Award for "Lezbian Girlfriend," and Useless ID shows off some impressive harmonies on "Too Late to Start Over." There's also "One Man Army," a live track from S.O.D. that's culled from the same Kung Fu DVD series as Punk Rock Is Your Friend's videos. It's a serious amount of content for $4.00, and should any of Kung Fu's other young bands follow the Ataris into mainstream stardom, this comp will provide you with OG bragging rights.

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