A Fistful Of Rock N' Roll Volume 4
Tee Pee Records, 2000
REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/28/2000
No matter how good something is, eventually the bubble has to burst.
Over the past month, we've been looking at the initial volumes of the soon-to-be-mammoth collection A Fistful Of Rock N' Roll, featuring bands who care more about the music than the business behind hit singles. And while I can't say I've liked every single band I've heard, the first three volumes in the set have shown great promise for everyone involved in this project.
To say that the bubble has burst on A Fistful Of Rock N' Roll Volume 4 is kind of a misnomer; saying that makes it sound like this disc isn't worth the 44 minutes it takes to listen to it, and that's just not the case. But while this disc is quite listenable and has some outstanding moments, it does come off as being the weakest of the four volumes released as of late June 2000.
When it comes to outstanding work, three bands leap to mind immediately. The first is "Rockets & Bombs" from Stilleto Boys, a track that just takes the pedal and slams it to the floor with full intensity. The second is "Zero" from The Reds, a track that surprises you by sucking you in without you even realizing it. Don't be surprised if you find yourself feeling disappointed that this track ends.
The third of the outstanding performers is High School Sweethearts with "She's Something" -- a track that almost sounds a little like Veruca Salt in their American Thighs days. I'd be hard-pressed to call a single like this punk -- or even garage-band, for that matter. But as long as the tune is this good, who really cares what you call them?
This might lead you to believe that the remaining 12 performances on A Fistful Of Rock N' Roll Volume 4 aren't worthy of mention. This isn't true; you can hear some shades of promise in acts like Lovemasters ("Mr. White"), Graveyard School ("Life's Crazy") and Von Zippers ("Bad Generation"). But nothing really comes out at you and smacks you in the face like the bulk of the prior three volumes tends to do. I walked away from the first discs really feeling energized about the independent scene (although I admit I didn't feel quite as strongly about Volume 3). With this release, it's not that I feel disheartened about the scene, it's that I don't quite get the same strong vibe that I've felt before.
This isn't to say that I wouldn't want to listen to any of the bands on this compilation again; I'd love to see every single act on this disc get a fair shot at the spotlight. But A Fistful Of Rock N' Roll Volume 4 is missing the impromptu spark that's made the previous volumes in the collection so special.
The next volumes in the set are scheduled to be released in the next few months. Maybe the short break between releases will be enough to get this set's batteries recharged -- and I'll be eagerly awaiting the next volume.