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Various Artists

Epitaph

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Presumably bolstered by the recent success of Offspring and Bad Religion, Epitaph is attempting to capitalize on the neo-punk-rock tidal wave with Punk-o-Rama, a 12-band, 16-song sampler spotlighting the aforementioned bands as well as others including NOFX, SNFU, and Gas Huffer. Almost all of the disc’s tracks have been previously released, and the freshness of some of the collection’s songs is questionable (Bad Religion’s “Do What You Want,” for example, is six years old). Also dubious is the inclusion of Wayne Kramer’s “Crack in the Universe,” whose guitar and harmonica parts are better suited to mainstream rock than punk. Yet P-o-R features plenty of traditional punk angst and uproar: Total Chaos’ distorted and muddied guitars on the self-explanatory “Riot City” and NOFX’s power- chord-driven lesbian love song “Liza & Louise” (which, incidentally, was utilized in a porn movie) are cases in point.