Review: Various Artists – Take Action! Volume 7

Label: Hopeless Records/Sub City

Released: March 4, 2008

The seventh installment of the Take Action compilation series is, as usual, a mixed bag of bands, but a pretty good one nonetheless. It dabbles in everything from from hardcore and metal (Every Time I Die) to noise rock (Drop Dead, Gorgeous) to progcore (Chiodos) to straightforward punk (The Matches), but most of the album fits somewhere into the overlapping genres of pop punk, power pop and emo. Some is remarkably well-written like Silverstein and some is quirky and creative like Cute is What We Aim For, but most are just solid examples of what those genres have to offer. The album is long on sappy and short on edge, but whichever end of the spectrum you like, there’s still enough to make this worth the price.

The DVD has 20 videos that cover similar ground. Truly good videos are even harder to come by than good songs, but once again, there is enough here for every punk/emo/screamo fan. The Plain White T’s “Making a Memory” is one of those feel-good clips, but even though it’s geared toward people half my age, it somehow resonated with me. I’ve had enough of 80s imagery, but Every Time I Die’s spoofing of some that decade’s cheesiest films is pretty funny. A Life Once Lost has a metal freakout in the “Firewater Joyride” reminiscent of the Butthole Surfers’ “Who Was in My Room Last Night.” While the DVD is less essential than the CD, it’s still some nice bonus material.

A portion of the proceeds from the artists and the label (5% of the suggested retail price) goes to Do Something. Hopeless Records has long been involved in making the world a better place, so it’s hard to question them, but what about the bands? Every track on here has been previously released. Why do they need to make anything? The Take Action comp is good exposure for these bands. While compiling and releasing the CD has some cost associated with the release that Hopeless needs to recoup, I don’t see what the bands have invested. Maybe I’m off-base here, but it seems to me that this might not be as much of a charity release as it’s portrayed to be. I’d like to get other opinions on this though. What do you think?

Ratings: 6/10


About bobvinyl

bobvinyl, writer and co-editor of No Song is an Island, founded its predecessor, Rock and Roll and Meandering Nonsense (whose archives are found here), in 2005 and served as editor and principal contributor until it went on hiatus in 2010. He has also been published in AMP and Loud Fast Rules! (in print) as well as Glide and FensePost on the web. He has been an avid record collector since he was seven years old and enjoys sharing his love of music from the common to the esoteric.

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