Sound — 10
The Warped Tour is the most famous annual punk rock tour. Every year the tour is featured with a CD that has the songs played in the concert. This year the 8th installment of very successful series is out and has the biggest names in rock such as the fest headliners The Offspring, Dropkick Murphy's, Flogging Molly, Zao, Bleeding Through, Plain White T's are mixed with the newcomers. And like the previous releases of Warped Tour compilation, the current one has tracks widely available online and the range and variety of the artists are the same. All the bands are very individual and most of them deserve a closer look, every listener can find something interesting for him/her on a 50-track compilation. Great for a listener, hard for somebody who's going to review the record -- it's impossible to write something common about 50 different bands, so here are the ones that I liked or at least can still remember, having listened to the whole CD. The Offspring's "Beheaded" is a very rare song ?- their debut indie release back from 1989 ?- a real gem! The Chicago quartet Fall Out Boy has been signed to Island records and turned out into big rock stars and their song on the compilation "Saturday" is a track from their 2003 debut on Fueled By Ramen Records and the song makes it clear why Island snapped them up. The black sheep award on a two-disk set goes to Gogol Bordello's accordion-driven Slavic folk-punk "Start Wearing Purple." The name of the gypsy punk band can be translated like "Ukrainian Brothel." Their song sounds very bizarre to those who's never heard anything like that, though that kind of style is very well-known in Ukraine, where the frontman Eugene Huetz's roots go to. The song is brilliantly performed and hilarious. Brilliant. I was confused by Hot Water Music's "Poison" -- it's a good song, but the band is not on the tour, so why are they on the disc? Go Betty Go's "Saturday" is the second song named "Saturday" on the record. Whatever the name is, I like it. I liked the guitars and melody in Bleed The Dream ? "Just Like I Remember." Plus it stand out, being the best emo song on the record. The Academy Is... add some '80s new wave and British rock with their fun altrenative "Checkmarks" which is featured with overloaded guitars and trashy drums. The song proves that Warped Tour is 90% emo now. Some songs are awesome, others you would never think of again, but they are not too awful to spoil the good impression the CD makes in general.
Lyrics — 8
I can't say I was impressed by any band's vocals, but I really enjoyed the Go Betty Go's Nicolette Vilar's squeaking voice. A very cool vocal for a girls' punk-rock band, so-called bitch-screaming style. Girls rock! By the way Ukrainian immigrant Eugene Huetz from Gogol Bordello sings the first verse of "Start Wearing Purple," you can define his Ukrainian accent. In the second verse he gives up imitating American English and sings in Russian, which I think is not a bad idea. Who listen to the verse's words anyway? Gym Class Heroes' "Taxi Driver" is a fun song. Try to play a game "remember as much bands they mention as you can" and see who scored. You need to be quick, there're a lot.
Overall Impression — 8
That is a very good bargain -? 50 songs for 8 bucks (even though last year we had 52 songs for $6)! But it could turn into a torture for you to listen to the end of the almost 160-minutes record, being not a punk-rock fan. Though there are surprised along the way -? punk-rock bands are diluted by ska and black metal bands. Well, that's Warped Tour Compilation and it leaves its format on this year's compilation. The CD consists of not live recordings from the show itself, but very well-done studio quality records of the mostly unsigned indie bands. That's a very good way to discover new good bands. For me they are Gogol Bordello and Go Betty Go (to start with a few). I've never heard of the bands and now I'm very excited to find some of their other recordings. You may think the Warped Tour Compilation is now worse then it used to be ? being full of unreleased tracks non-commercial music. Now it sounds more like every song is already played on the radio or at least is released as a single. Well, comparing to what else we can have now, it's a good CD.