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Hopeless Records 50th Release | review | punk | compilation | Lollipop
Hopeless Records' 50th Release
by Scott Hefflon
Ryah-ryah-ryah! Over 6,000 fans (all of whose names are listed inside) voted for their favorite song off each Hopeless release (sans video comps, genius), and the result saves ya the trouble of wondering just how shitty some of Hopeless' bands were in the early days. And I say that mostly with love. Shit, even I'm missing a few of the early 7"s, and now I have what some geek somewhere thought was the best song on them. Or maybe they just clicked on something to see their name in the CD booklet. Regardless, here's a double CD filled with some gems, a few favorite stumbles, and songs to make ya whistle and say, "You've come a long way, beeaatch!"
Guttermouth start us off with "Sid Vicious was Innocent," followed by Schlong's adaptation of the West Side Story classic "Gee Officer Krupke" (they punked up the whole musical, which was really cool and probably sold like shit), followed by White Kaps, Funeral Oration, 88 Fingers Louie, Nobodys, Falling Sickness, Digger, Mustard Plug, Heckle, Weston, and Against All Authority. I've always liked Nobodys and they've always sucked, so no surprise there. But I'm pleasantly reminded of the precision of 88 Fingers Louie and the non-suck powerska of "Beer (Song)" by Mustard Plug. I think that was The Blasting Room's knob-twiddling, and it was worth every penny.
Disc two opens (with song 20, which makes it a little hard to match up, assholes) with Falling Sickness, followed by Nobodys' slaughtering "All Kinds of Girls" (and later, "Best Damn Tits (I've Ever Seen)," showing, uh, absolutely no progress whatsoever), and the expected stylings of Mustard Plug and Digger. Then we enter The New Phase of Hopeless, the stuff that sounds like what most people now think of when they think of Hopeless. Hell, early issues of Lollipop sucked (yeah, like current issues don't... fuck off) too, so I'm willing to let bygones be cheese Danishes if that's what they wanna be. The Queers signing with Hopeless was one of those "score!" moments, and "Get a Life and Live it, Loser" (and later, the must-have "Tamara is a Punk" and the straight-up "Little Rich Working Class Oi-Boy") opens the floodgates wide. Following is Minn, MN's Dillinger Four with "Doublewhiskycokenoice" (and later, the snotty, punk-fingering-the-wound "Maximum Piss & Vinegar"), one of those full-sounding powerpop/rock bands that you sorta like but can never really nail down or describe. And hats off to Hopeless for offering something different as punkpop drove itself into the ground. About this time, Funeral Oration finally hit their stride with "Do You Feel It?," showing why they rule. 88 Fingers Louie sneak back in, but we get it, we get it, you rocked! Selby Tiger and The Story So Far introduce themselves, and Samiam is saved from yet another pseudo-major meddling in shit they know nothing about. Again, a tip of the cap to Hopeless for snagging these guys, as well as starting Sub City (in case you were wondering where non-traditional punkshit faves like Scared of Chaka, The Weakerthans, Fifteen, and Thrice were).
(PO Box 7495 Van Nuys, CA 91409)