Various Artists: Tony Hawk's American Wasteland (Brandon)
Tony Hawk's American Wasteland
Brought to you by: Brandon "the Destroyer"
I used to play the Tony Hawk video games back when they were first invented, then I met Peter Lumsden of Ottawa fame and I quickly realised that this game blows. Now thats a lie, just when you play against a guy who can score like over ten million points on one trick then there is really no hope of beating him in the game. The single player was cool though, I liked the missions, not that I could ever reach the point totals or anything. It seems like a very natural thing that Tony Hawk's Underground would have a bitchin' soundtrack since the entire game your a skater and skaters like good music...well at least most of them do. Regardless this is one of the better punk compilations that I have seen thrown together, one of the major draws to me was the theme of the album, which is essentially all punk covers of older punk songs. The bands range anywhere from My Chemical Romance, Thrice, Dropkick Murphys, Hot Snakes, Rise Against, and thats just a few. I nominated another neighbourhood loser of Track Fu Emanuel who do an excellent cover of "Search And Destroy" which is an Iggy Pop cover. To be honest when I first looked at this album I had my doubts that I would enjoy it because I had written off most things that have the name Tony Hawk on it, but at this point I've heard this album plenty and got it the first week it came out while I was in Toronto, it was sicke cheap, like eight bucks used, but since that was the first week it was out I would just guess it was stolen.
Ok I'm starting with the My Chemical Romance song, its called "Astro Zombie" and I have no idea who did the original, hell I don't know who did most of the originals, but thats because all it does is tell me the writer of the song original, not the band...unless they all wrote it. So it’s the third song, and as you can imagine its pretty good, as most My Chemical Romance music is. One thing that I really like about the album is the vocals, which is probably the thing that I just like the most about the band. There was a rumour this band was in danger of breaking up due to a record dispute. If that is the case this song could be the last released material that I will be able to listen to of there’s unless by some miracle they reconcile and everything good as new. I have my doubts. The song is an ok track, as I said the vocals are worth a listen, however I won't go on about the music, its ok just I'm not that attached to it. In the end if this is my last MCR song then I might be disappointed.
The fifth track is "Sonic Reducer" and its done by Saves The Day. I don't know anything about this band at all so I can't really have an opinion on their other music. I don't mind this cover, I like it better than "Astro Zombies" anyways. The Beastie Boys sampled the guitar riff for one of the songs on their The Five Burroughs, the track was "An Open Letter To NYC". The chorus of "Sonic Reducer" is the second best part of the track, the sicke guitar riff is the first. When I refer to the chorus I think that the vocals are well done, which is weird because the lead singers voice isn't really that good on the verses. As confusing as all that is I still like the song, its one of the longer songs on the album and every once and a while a punk song needs to breach that three minute mark in order to show they have some talent. There is a pretty good guitar solo at about the minute thirty mark and it probably ends at two minutes, this is probably my second favourite song.
I love the Dropkicks Murphys, they fucking rock. I also like that they are on this album with a particular hardcore song, the one thing that I don't like about the song though is they don't have the familiar bagpipe sound I had got rather used to. The song is called "Who Is Who" and it is the sixth song on the disc. This song is neat, the lyrics are anyways, because this is kind of the song that promotes distrust of authority by adolescents. It mentions all sorts of things that happen, like police coming because their buddy ratted him out and that is how he got caught. Really the whole song is kind of like a blame game where on the chorus the lead singer is shouting: 'please tell me it was you!'. This is surprisingly not my favourite song but its up there as you can imagine, its definitely worth hearing once to see if you like it because its only one minute and twenty seconds.
Hot Snakes are also another band that has recently fallen victim to the break up, so as a result this might also be the last 'new' stuff that I hear by them. I say new because they have loads of older stuff from the eighties that I haven't heard and I know that I would like to hear it and thus there is material that is out there new to me. I think you get the idea. Anyways, as I was saying Hot Snakes are bitchin, they do the nineth track "Time To Escape". This song is in typical Hot Snakes fashion, the guitar has that familiar ring that you only get when you hear the Hot Snakes. I like the music of this song an incredible amount, one thing that I can always count on when I listen to Hot Snakes is that the guitar is sicke and the drums are ridiculous, now if I could only talk them into selling their albums for cheaper so that I could force myself to buy them. I don't know that I have seen one for less than $24.99 and you can go fuck yourself for that price. The lyrics are alright but the chorus is easily the better part of the song, but all in all this is still my favourite song on the CD.
Lastly I will talk about the Rise Against song, I know that a lot of people out their don't like Rise Against and thats ok, you can leave for a bit and join us at the bottom. This song is fifty four seconds and every second of it is really filthy. I don't really like it at all and thats why I wanted to mention it, for some reason the lead singer decides to take a shit in his mouth and chew it while singing.
I would recommend just listening to the first song on the disc if you want to hear a randomly crazy song. Senses Fall is the band and the track is called "Institutionalized", its totally fuckered. The lead singer sings the song basically as if he is talking to his parents and they have decided to put him in a rehab institute so that he can get over his drug problem. As I listen to this song there is no chorus, understand that all the singer does is blather on about how he needs more drugs and thats not going to happen due to the fact he is off the rehab. Its a strange song but its interesting to say the least, I like it but its not my favourite.
Tracks to Steal: "Institutionalized", "Time To Escape", "Sonic Reducer", "Who Is Who", "Search And Destroy", "Astro Zombies"
How did this compilation hold up?
When are they going to bring out a second CD?
Judgment Passed: 8.4 (At first I thought that this CD had some serious potential, maybe I just need to hear it more before I score it higher, but at the moment I think this suits it. Some of the songs I don't enjoy, but for the most part I can listen to this album straight through since even the songs I don't like are pretty fast.)