I may be alone in this, these days, but there’s a part of me that, every once in a while, wants to listen to 90s punk music. And I’m talking the good stuff (Bad Religion) through to the poppier edges of it (Green Day et. al.). Judge me as you see fit, it’s all fine by me. I don’t listen to it all the time, but sometimes…
Enter this disc. An Epitaph Records compilation from 1994, a CD I have probably owned since around the time of its release. It scratches that itch for me every single time. Pennywise, Total Chaos, Down By Law, RKL, Ten Foot Pole… they’re all here. Disc highlights for me have always been Bad Religion’s Do What You Want (they played it when we saw them live a while back, and it was so great)… it’s one of my favorite punk songs of all time. SNFU’s Reality Is A Ride On The Bus (it’s so true), and NOFX’ Don’t Call Me White also rate highly. And you seriously cannot ever go wrong with Wayne Kramer. You knew this. I dig the musical noodling (is that jazz?) of Gas Huffer, the drunken (seeming) ramblings of Rancid’s Hyena, and even the full-throttle relationship issues of Offspring’s Session, with its classic “Awww fuck! Fuck! Fuck! FUUUUCK!” intro.
Like I said, not everyone I know agrees with me on this. They’ll say that punk crap in the 90s was so shitty, manure piles were suing for defamation. But me, I still get a hoot out of this compilation. It was the first of 10 to be released (1994-2005), but it’s always to this one that I return. Put it in the car stereo on a road trip, and I’d wager you’ll be driving too fast before you know it. Maybe one band or other in this mix would not appeal to you but overall it plays really well, even today. It’s a cool time capsule now, too.