Various Artists

Take Action! Volume 8

Written by: TL on 05/03/2009 11:49:54

For the past 10 years, Sub City and Hopeless Records have helped young people make a difference in their own communities by issuing the Take Action compilations and tours, showcasing some of the up and coming artists in the states at the same time. This years edition of the compilation came out a couple of weeks ago, and in a way, getting it should really be a no-brainer. You get to support a good cause and you get a sizable sample of what's hot in the rock scene overseas. Sounds like a win/win situation right?

Well, musically speaking, yes and no. The problem is that what's hot overseas is pretty mediocre, at least if one is to judge from a large part of "Volume 8". It starts out well enough with solid acts like Cute Is What We Aim For, Motion City Soundtrack and Emery putting in equally solid tracks, and upstarts There For Tomorrow showing their worth too, with "Remember When (Used To Be Used To Be It). The following, not quite flattering, live rendition of The Spill Canvas' "All Over You" opens a whole can of boring averageness on us though, and even VersaEmerge's top track "In Pursuing Design" can't counter balance Forever The Sickest Kids' God-awful "Party Song". Meg & Dia's acoustic girl-emo does a bit better, but we're right back to boring with Ace Enders and Anarbor's contributions, and things don't really improve till help arrives from European shores, as the Brits from You Me At Six raise the bar with "Jealous Minds Think Alike" even if it's one of their weaker tracks. Bayside naturally delivers, no need to even speak of it, but the same can't be said for Red Car Wire and their "Timing Just Isn't Your Thing", a track I'd say fits the textbook definition of "Instantly forgettable" all too well. The last couple of acoustics are highlighted by Cinematic Sunrise's "Umbrellas And Elephants", while Four Year Strong still don't manage to sound like they can live up to the good things I keep hearing about them. As for All Time Low, I'm starting to think it's time they follow up on "Dear Maria" with something good, lest a name change to "One Hit Wonder" should be in order. "Remembering Sunday" doesn't cut it, that's for sure.

So as you can see, all in all it's a pick and mix effort, with half the tracks ranging between "OK" and "quite good", and the rest being relatively boring. This goes as well for the DVD that comes with the package, where only Motion City Soundtrack's acoustic version of "Fell In Love Without You" is really worth mentioning alongside UnderOATH's "Desperate Times, Desperate Measures" and Before Their Eyes' "Life Was All A Dream". There For Tomorrow make themselves noticed again, but the video for "No More Room To Breathe" is a bit on the corny side, while Rise Against's live performance of "The Good Left Undone" must have been filmed and clipped by a monkey the way it looks. Then Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster have had a better job done to "The Day Hell Broke Loose At Sicard Hollow", but what's with having an instrumental acoustic song playing over all that excellently rampaging live footage?

Anyway, if you can get over the pressuring mediocrity that haunts the majority of the American scene (this is where you use that skip button) there's some good songs on both disc's in this package. Of course, chances are you'll already have them, and then I guess the question is merely if you feel charitable. If all you care about is the music then there are better places to spend your money, but on the other hand, you have better chances of going to heaven if you buy this I suppose.

7

Download: Buy it. That's sort of the point.
For The Fans Of: American alternative rock, Good causes
Listen: myspace.com/takeactiontour

Release Date: 17.02.2009
Hopeless Records / Sub City Non-profit

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