Anti-New Waves (2000)
This compilation CD is one that I definitely picked up while I was in Japan. In addition to the fact that it has quite a few bands that I'm already a big fan of, it's also the very first release that Anti-New Waves ever released. While that label isn't really known outside of Japan as well as a label like Snuffy Smile, they've put out quite a few records that I really enjoy, so it was kind of cool to be able to buy the record that started it all.
The basic concept of this compilation is Japanese punk rockers covering older UK punk songs. While cover songs aren't always the most exciting thing for me to listen to, I certainly understand how much fun it is for a band to play a song that they love and was influential to their music. The good news is that most of the covers on this comp are pretty great.
For me the standouts are Cradle To Graves' take on "Kleenex" by Generation X, Oval's version of "Ulster" by Stiff Little Fingers and Short Circuit taking on "In The City" by The Jam. Each manages to pay homage to the original version of the song, while still allowing the band's to put their own stamp on the recording. But really, all eight songs on this are pretty solid. They all manage to capture the energy and passion that I love about Japanese punk bands, and pour that into some classic punk rock tunes from a prior generation.