Album Review – “Punk Rock High School” Soundtrack

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In a generation full of remote control rockstars and trophy children, it is comforting to know that there are still members of Gen-Y that are willing to set aside their sense of self-entitlement and need for instant gratification to take the time to create something they can be proud of.

The idea for the Punk Rock High School Soundtrack (the film is set to be released this summer) started with teacher, Tom Voris (The Fabulous Rudies) and a few persistent students. Most of the bands are connected with the Rock Band Music Club at El Camino High. With the exception of a few tracks from The Fabulous Rudies, all of the musicians are still in high school in the San Diego area.

Some of my favorite tracks on the album were reggae-rock band Irieside’s “Trouble”, which boasts house-party chanting choruses, some pretty greasy trumpet work and a bassline that is well, troubling…

The Dylanesque vocals and upbeat dirty indie pop sound of Tan Sister Radio made for a slightly nostalgic, enjoyable listen. This was actually the first song I listened through twice.

If you can hear past the vocal layering, which they may or may not have gone a little crazy with, Inberst’s “Into the Sun” almost has a Deftones-meets-Lynyrd Skynyrd feel. Their lead guitarist actually plays lead through the whole song, and a rhythm section that definitely holds their own.

With “Land of the Free,” Rootsicali seems to have a pretty good grasp on the hippy side of reggae. The tempo matches pace of music, changing with emotion. If Robert Fripp and Brian Eno had started a reggae band in high school, this is what it may have sounded like.

With the exception of a few a sloppy drum rolls, some obvious pitch correction, and what felt at times like a rushed recording (which makes sense because what high school band could afford the ridiculous rates at Golden Track Recording Studio), this album definitely gets a couple thumbs up. I look forward to seeing what these bands evolve into.

Rating – 8.5/10

Track listing:

1.       Don’t Lead Me On – Without Warning
2.       Lazy – The Fabulous Rudies (feat. Members of Without Warning and Midnight Rose)
3.       Help Me – The Fabulous Rudies (Introducing Kaitlyn Voris)
4.       Let’s Go – Midnight Rose
5.       Hip Rock – Durty White Chucks
6.       Trouble – Irieside
7.       Into the Sun – Inberst
8.       Free (Live in Studio) – Midnight Rose
9.       Land of the Free- Rootsicali

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