Various ArtistsThe Hostage SituationHostage Records
Back in the primordial days, carloads of pumped-up beach kids would descend on Hollywood, spit on the Urinals, punch Darby Crash in the nose, and then go home and crank out their own aggressive, intense, stripped-down breed of punk. Now Hostage Records has put together this back-to-the-beach blitzkrieg showcasing the modern-day local heirs to that fine tradition. Despite the absence of the almighty Stitches, it's a tightly focused, mostly solid comp that's highlighted by typically snotty (and unreleased) salvos from punk granddaddies the Crowd, surf-and-slamdance anthems from Smogtown, and two razor-sharp tunes by up-and-comers the Numbers. And then you've got such beach bunnies as Bonecrusher, who crunch through some gruff street punk; Garden Grove's Discontent, who tap a vitriol-rich vein of suburban alienation (thanks in large part, probably, to living in Garden Grove); the Bleeders, who spin out a heartfelt rockabilly-influenced number; the Decline, with a seamless Clash cover; and under-the-radar perennials Instagon, who stomp out a too-short Flipper-style feedback frenzy that could be the album's standout track. Since almost every band on here is essentially riding the same midtempo, high-energy punk-with-a-streak-of-pop new wave, though, someone's gonna have to wipe out. That would be the Smut Peddlers, who go from gritty to grating after a few laps around a repetitive riff. And the Spooky's DOA horror would really growl with a lot more horror and a drop in the pop. Such bands as the Negatives and the Fakes are just treading water by comparison with their beefier bros, with washed-out takes on the same classic sound. But, hey, not everybody can be king of the beach. Just be ready to surf that track-skip button, and everything will be perfectly bitchen.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Orange County, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.