Reviewing compilations is a pain in the ass. You have to try to write about a bunch of different bands all playing different songs and it's often difficult to tie everything together in a way that makes any sense. For that reason, I've been sitting on 14 Soda Punx for a few months. Even though there's a nice, built in talking point of my trip out to Seattle to see many of these bands play at the Seattle Pop Punk Festival (it was actually reviewing the Four Lights album the other day that spurred my on to finally tackle this one) it's still tough to navigate compilations.
I'm not going to be able to write something about every band, but I'll hit a few. The album starts off on side A with a band called Sucesss who have a song called "Kurt Bloch." That was confusing at first. It's actually a pretty good song, even though the lyrics are kind of silly. Coyote Bred have a song called "Pile" that's catchy and poppy, with a little bit of a Social Distortion twang to it. Burn Burn Burn's drummer plays too fast. I don't really like Choke The Pope, though I did enjoy the song on here more than I expected to.
"Leave You Guessing" by Four Lights starts off the B side and is as good as anything on their recent full length, so that's a highlight. The Botherations have a great contribution with "Amor Perdido," that kind of has a darker pop punk feel, like the Red Dons. The Drolls has Denny from Sicko in the band and "Getting Old" is probably my favorite song on the album. Dude sure can write a hook. Date Night With Brian has Ean from Sicko and "Get It In" is indie pop fun. Really dig this song. Dude can sure write a hook.
13 Soda Punx was one of my favorite compilations of the 90s. It had Sicko, Mr. T Experience, Bum, Stand GT and a slew of other pretty great bands. 14 Soda Punx is a pretty solid sequel. The highlights for me tend to be some of the bands that sound like they could have been on the first comp, including the bands that have people that were in bands on the first compilation. But there are plenty of new sounds to discover on this one and really, isn't that the point of compilations?
V/A - 14 Soda Punx: