Review: Clepunk.Comp

Various Artists
(Smog Veil Records)

Alright, I admit.  I thought this was going to be the lamest compilation of all time.  The Cleveland punk scene?  Call it geophobia or MidWest bigotry or whatever, but I was not looking forward to this one.  I thought Clepunk would be like mullet-punk bands shoulder to shoulder with cock-rock bands masquerading as hardcore.  This thing is pretty legit, though.  Twenty-eight tracks is a lot to stomach, but with bands like Los Fiascos, Pride of Ohio, and Sidecar rocking like a bunch of SoCal punkers, there’s plenty of love to go around.

Also included are a few ska bands, Par Five and Cypher, that are just as horrible as any ska band playing out here.  Sure, there are the hessians like Hellvis and Disengage who do their best to keep punk as dirty as possible, as well as hyper-kinetic, hardcore acts like AFO (not to be confused with AFI) and the Dexter Chumley Attack that rip through their songs so fast and with so much aggression it’s almost spiritual.  With the exception of a few bands (The Vermin and Jacknife [sic] Powerbombs come to mind) there’s a lot of inspired, original material on this compilation.  The message here people, is that good music is good music no matter where it comes from.  Unless it comes from Kentucky.  It’s still okay to hate on Kentucky.
Brian Greenaway