A horrible hack


Antipop Records 2009-2018

Year Released: 2018
Format: CD
Label: Antipop
Reviewed by Samuel Rogers on Jan 27, 2020
Antipop is an independent UK label founded in 2009. They’ve released a wide range of stuff, from rock and roll to psychobilly, and from street punk through to hardcore, with various stopping posts in between. Everything they touch is noisy and high-energy, often with a peculiar sense of fun. This collection of twenty-four tracks looks back at almost a decade of shenanigans. It does seem odd to release a retrospective sampler after nine years instead of ten, which is why we’ve purposefully taken so long to review it. Honest! As with any compilation, most listeners will find half the songs forgettable. There are even a handful I can’t stand, but there’s a healthy amount that make me want to rush out and buy an album. That qualifies as a successful sampler in my book.

Where to start with some of the highlights? Pete Bentham and the Dinner Ladies crank out some invigoratingly retro garage rock. Vamos are a catchy pop-punk outfit to seek out. Bolshy deliver political melodic punk blended with ska. Old Radio, the other ska act represented, are also worth a listen. On the harder side of things, A Werewolf! play mostly grindcore, which they then slow right down into a sludgy mass. Boycott the Baptist play muddy, distorted hardcore, through which I can make out the line “Minor Threat makes me wanna drink”. Finally, there’s the weirdo stuff, which is where I hang my hat. Metro Manila Aide deliver spoken-word sermons over post-hardcore sounds. “Cash Converters” by the Drellas is the only previously unreleased track, and it sounds like they were blissfully hyped up on sugar, listening to too much Gary Numan. “Milk” by Elmo & The Styx is a bizarre post-punk racket about the white stuff. Finally, I want to mention Schoolboys Death Trio, whose mixture of fuzzy funk-punk with spoken word is both original and enjoyable. Your highlights might look very different, but either way there’s a lot to explore here. The label are also currently doing a “lucky dip” of five albums for £10, which is another great way to dive in.

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