Various Artists

The Best Punk Album in the World...Ever, Part 2

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This set doesn't cohere as successfully as volume one, but it still has some essential music for fans of punk and new wave. The selection of punk standards is faultless again, with standouts from the Sex Pistols, X-Ray Spex, 999, and the Damned joined by the less common "This Perfect Day" by the Saints, "Staring at the Rude Boys" by the Ruts, and "The Saints Are Coming" by the Skids. Punk songs "Suspect Device," "Don't Dictate," and "Where's Captain Kirk" are absolutely not to be missed. The real highlight here, though, is Patti Smith's "Rock & Roll Nigger," a brash, disarming, supercharged anthem that deserves its place in the punk pantheon. A lighter touch is added by the gems "Outdoor Miner," "Shake Some Action," and "Spanish Stroll." Unlike volume one, the new wave selections here feel too radio friendly to capture the underground bite that punk fans love. "King Rocker," however, is a tribute to the King by Generation X that surprisingly works in this context, while "Don't Touch Me There" is less successful at capturing the punk mood. Despite its faults, this is a good source for more classic songs and buried treasures from the punk era.