V/A - Liberation Sucks
Liberation Records

Liberation Records will always hold a special place in my heart. When I
was 15 I bought my first punk rock comp (definitely a rite of passage) --
coincidentally, the first record they put out. Now it's six years later,
there's a new comp out on Liberation -- Liberation Sucks -- let's see how
it holds up.

1995's Punk Sucks compilatiion brought together 30 bands who, while not especially diverse, did all manage to rock the melodic/pop punk hell out of me. I mean, this comp included Pennywise, No Use For a Name, Ten Foot Pole, Sublime, 88 Fingers Louie, Bollweevils, Blink 182, Naked Aggression and F.Y.P., among others. Now, while I may not give this comp much time anymore (or even really admuit I ever liked many of the above bands), I must say that one would've been hard-pressed to find a compilation of this music with better bands on it.

Today's Liberation Sucks compilation plays host to 21 bands, taking songs from their releases on Liberation or affiliated labels (VML, New American Dream, Sonic Tone and Hell's Ditch). The only band from Punk Sucks to return is Homegrown, who turn in a catchy pop-punk number in the vein of Screeching Weasel that I probably would've jizzed my pants over six years ago.

That's not where similarities end, though. The vast majority of Liberation Sucks is a paint-by-numbers rendition of pop and melodic punk, with few songs sounding like they would've been out of place on Punk Sucks. These out-of-place songs, however, are Liberation Sucks' highlights -- Mutiny, the Icarus Line, Discount, Kind of Like Spitting, and Ink & dagger -- provide a respite from Fat Wreck Chords knock-offs that permeate the better part of the disc.

If your city has a derth of "Intro to Punk 101" comps, I suppose I could recommend this, as you will hear some things that you wouldn't be exposed to on a similar comp, but for the most part all I can say is that while I've grown musically since I was 15, it seems Liberation hasn't.
...john heisel...

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