Sound: The sound quality on most of these songs are nothing to jump about. They're average at best. A few of the songs are even below par. Take for instance "Gas Chamber" by the Foo Fighters, or even "No W" by Ministry. These songs in particular aren't up to quality. // 6
Lyrics: As most of the lyrics are politically based, I really can't say any of the lyrics are anything special, save for "The Lion And The Lamb" by The Get Up Kids, where they comapre America and Iraq to that of a lion and a lamb. // 6
Overall Impression: A lot of punk rock has a tendency to be total, utter s--t; then again, a lot of punk rock has a tendency to kick pansy ass like a glorified Rambo. This two CD set contains both the latter and the former in those respects. There's trash and then there's crash (crash being the complimenting adjective here). Some heavyweights being displayed on these two compilations (Which I will now be referring to as the Bush Twins) are Sum 41, Alkaline Trio, Pennywise, Jello Biafra, Nofx, Greenday, Bad Religion; I could go on and on. Let's just say the second Bush Twin seems to contain a hell of a lot more popular bands than the first, most likely because the first edition has become the best selling Fat Wreck Chords album of all time; it's success pulling big name acts to it like some kind of Space Magnet (Space Magnet patent pending).
In my opinion, the first Bush twin, even though lacking definite star power, steps all over the second one, spitting in its hair and eating the meal that it had prepared for dinner that evening. It begins with the dirty, distorted as hell "Nothing To Do When You're Locked In A Vacancy" by None More Black. If I hadn't loved None More Black and grew into their songs long before I heard this one, I would barely describe it as music. But, luckily, that's not the case and I think this song kicks ass.
It then moves on to a "rare" B-side from Sum 41 (I say "rare" because I recently heard it in a beer commercial). It's an alright song, nothing special, but every once and a while I have to decide whether or not I'll be skipping over it - Usually I do. Follow this by a strong entry by Alkaline Trio called "Warbrain" - one of the definite highlights of the album. The Epoxies, Anti-flag, Against Me!, the Offspring and The Get Up Kids throw in some fairly good romps - except for Anti-Flag; their song kinda sucks. I really think it would be a bad idea to go through every song here because I'll get bored, and, frankly, when I get bored I get cranky, bitch. But, I will say this: New Found Glory has a song on this album called "No News is Good News" and I must say, it's one of the best on the album. I usually hate their whiny songs with crappy guitar hooks, but this song kicks ass, check it out. Apparently it's rare, too, so you can only get it on this album.
Alot of the songs are vicious trash though, so don't be fooled or anything. "No W" by Ministry is quite possibly the worst song I've heard in the span of five years. "Basket Of Snakes" by The Frisk sounds like the son of a llama and Mr. Roger's hairpiece went and formed a one man band. It's odd that the NOFX song "Jaw, Knee, Music" sucks loads, considering they came up with the album concept. It comes with a second disk, a DVD, but it's nothing to drool about: a few political shorts that you can look up on the internet and some "comedy" from David Cross. It's not even funny. It's just him saying shit about how Bush sucks. He does. But, none the less, this is not comedy. I was dooped to say the least. The liner notes contain "40 Reasons To Hate Bush", which I would take seriously if number 20 wasn't, "He dropped his dog on his head." But there's pictures of all the bands.
Now, on to Volume II. Let me just say this: I have had a grudge against this album since I unwrapped it and saw the poor condition it was in. The whole fucking front cover falls off thanks to a crack in the bottom and one of the little pegs in that circle that holds the CD in is missing, so the DVD just flops around everywhere. Fuck you, HMV. One point I'd like to mention is that both of the covers have the exact same illustration, the only difference is that the first one is green and the second is orange. That's pretty lame, guys, c'mon. When I buy a second volume, I don't want the first one, I want something flashier.
So, let me go through some of the bands on this album we've got Greenday, Foo Fighters, Rancid, Yellowcard, No Doubt, No Use for a name, plus many more, but out off all the bands I mentioned, not one of them has a decent piece of music on this album. The Foo Fighters do a cover of "Gas Chamber" by the Angry Samoans and it just sounds like they threw whatever crap they had lying around on to this twin.
To be honest, every song on this album is below par. Excluding three. Bad Religion takes a song off of their latest album The Empire Strikes First called "Let Them Eat War." Unfortunately, I have that album and I'm sick of that song. But, I can safely say that at one point in my life I did enjoy this song. Useless ID surprisingly has a hit with "State Of Fear", considering Useless ID sucks. If you don't believe me pick up Let it Burn, the Ataris/Useless ID split. It's terrible. I'd wish death on you before I'd wish that album. But this song is good. Autopilot Off provides a kind of "pop-punk" refuge from the raining shit that's pouring upon us on this album with "I'm Thinking". It's bubble-gummy, but all around good.
The liner notes have 20 more reasons to hate bush, which are interesting to say the least and there's an essay by Justin Sane from Anti-flag that looks pretty boring. There's only so much shit you can say about Bush that hasn't been said already. If I hear one more person say "Well, he lied about the weapons of mass destruction," I'm gonna f--king snap and kill someone. Obviously he lied, deal with it. If you're gonna bitch about something bitch about shit that hasn't been said nearly enough. Like unemployment or something. But, I'm Canadian, so I don't matter.
The DVD sucks, for some reason it's only about politics. The comedian isn't funny and the Will Farrell as George Bush satire seems lazy and dragged on. The only good points are the videos, which kick ass. Especially "Drunken Lullabies" by Flogging Molly. You may remember that song from Tony Hawk 4 (or was it 3?)
All in all, these compilations aren't anything special. You can see why most of these songs are "previously unreleased" and "rare". To be honest, I only bought Volume 2 because I didn't feel right about only having one volume of something. The only saving graces are a few songs that I can count on both hands - if even that. // 4