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Every Dog Will Have Its Day | review | punk | compilation | Lollipop

Every Dog Will Have Its Day

by Morgan Coe

Compilation albums are a lost art. Classic comps like Turn It Around, Deep Six, Someone's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In, and Sub Pop 100 (to name just a few) succeeded as something much greater than the sum of their parts. Each one had its own feel, its own sound, its own look – its own personality. Each one had a point, a reason to exist beyond cramming a bunch of songs onto vinyl. Today, we don't get compilations (aside from cover records, or the occasional novelty like Short Songs For Short People) – we get label samplers. At their worst, label samplers are transparent, rehashed loss leaders; when you buy them, you're paying for advertising just as surely as any chump in a $40 Abercrombie & Fitch sweatshirt. At their best, label samplers sometimes succeed in their stated purpose: Letting you hear new bands, or new songs by familiar bands, for a low price. That seems to be the most Every Dog Will Have Its Day is shooting for, so I'll quit bitching and get to the music.

First, the bad news: Don't pick up this comp for the new Green Day track; it isn't very good. "Ha Ha You're Dead" has a funny title, but doesn't follow through with any real anger or energy – not to mention that the time for Billie Joe Armstrong to write a searing attack on his "enemies" was about ten years ago, when anyone besides 12 year-old mall punks and Warp Tour promoters gave a damn. Similarly, several of the other bands have spent a lot of time flipping through the Lookout Records Class of '93 Yearbook: The Influents and Fetish both do creditable Green Day impressions, with country and slick "rock" touches respectively; One Time Angels and The Crush do whiny Jawbreaker-ish pop; Plus Ones sound like an awkward version of The Mr. T Experience (their bass player's old band); The Flipsides pick up Tilt's torch and halfheartedly run with it; and Enemy You does the post-Screeching Weasel "Boy In Pop-Punk Band Gets Songwriting Mileage Out Of Imaginary Girl's Problems" thing.

"But what about the good news," you say? Common Rider has added a second guitar player, and their garage-meets-reggae "Blackbirds vs. Crows" is the best thing I've ever heard them do. The Thumbs' "Hour One" is scratchy, passionate, kind of weird, and great. The Frisk's sinister, new wavey punk "We Are The Frisk" is good (like The Faint) but not cheesy (like The Faint.) And finally, GC5's "Take It Or Leave It" is an amazing combination of '70s punk rock and '60s soul that single-handedly makes the whole CD worthwhile. Adeline have done alright for themselves, but I can't help thinking that the whole thing could've been a lot more impressive if they'd put more work into the record itself... If you're going to try to be the new Lookout! Records (now that Lookout! is trying to be the new Sub Pop, and who knows what Sub Pop is up to these days), you might as well take it all the way, right?
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