A Fistful Of Rock N' Roll Volume 3

Various Artists

Tee Pee Records, 2000

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/19/2000

Just when you thought it was safe for corporate rock to come out of the woodwork, the third volume in the ever-growing catalog of A Fistful Of Rock N' Roll leaps forward to deliver a serious ass-kicking.

The brainchild of executive producer Sal Canzonieri, this third volume picks up right where Volume 2 left off - that is, not quite as strong as the original volume, but impressive nonetheless. In this particular disc, you can hear the influence of some modern-day bands in the work of the newer groups - and some of the influences might surprise you.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Unlike the previous two volumes, A Fistful Of Rock N' Roll Volume 3 does not have a single weak track on it. (Not that the other two volumes were filled with 'em; each probably had one - two, at most, that were a little subpar.) It's nice to be able to sit down with this particular disc and know that I don't have to worry about getting up from my easy chair and go running towards the "fast forward" button on my CD player.

But what this third volume doesn't quite have is the infectious manic energy that made the first two discs so spectacular. Sure, there's plenty of music you can really get into on Volume 3, like the cuts from New American Mob ("Liberty"), Hookers ("Ride The Dragon") and The Pollys ("Damn"). But I found myself really caught up in the first two discs; I didn't have quite the same feeling this time around.

If you listen to this disc, don't be surprised if you find yourself saying often, "Gee, this song sounds like [insert band name here]". Libertine's track, "Beautiful Disaster," sounds like a cross between Richard Butler of Psychedelic Furs and Smash Mouth - and it's beautiful as hell. Likewise, I hear more than a little Smashing Pumpkins (pre- Mellon Collie) on "Let Me Out" by Fumes, and Rocket 455's "Ain't Right Girl" sounds like it could have come from the early days of The Misfits.

Yet each one of these songs does the ultimate honor by taking the influences of the groups and tailoring it to their own styles. Don't dare say that these bands are copying the bigger names; if anything, they are putting what they learned into action, and are doing it well.

As I've said for each of the volumes so far, this is the kind of disc that anyone who has ever enjoyed punk rock, even in the smallest doses, will appreciate far more than someone who has been raised on a diet of strictly Top 40. After three volumes of this, you have to wonder how Canzonieri can continue to find bands of this high-caliber quality... and next week, we'll see if he can continue the trend with A Fistful Of Rock N' Roll Volume 4.

Rating: B+

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